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S. G. & E. L. ELBERT 

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1844 AND J ^45 









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HE great contest in* our country between 
Freedom and Slavery began with the 
very formation of our Constitution, and 
continued, with various intermissions, 
down to the overthrow of the giant-mon- 
ster by the proclamation of our martyr- President- 
Abraham Lincoln — January I, 1863. As the future 
historian will desire as many landmarks as possible of 
this great life-and-death struggle, the following Ad- 
dresses are now re-published in a form more permanent 
than when they first appeared. It is now nearly a 
quarter of a century since they were written. A new 
generation has come upon the stage, comparatively 
ignorant of the opposition encountered and the odium 
endured by those who thus early fought the great battle 
of Freedom. We fought, indeed, with the moral wea~ 
pons of justice, conscience, and the Word of God ; but 
urged, at the same time, that all these should be con- 
summated at the ballot-box. We hoped and prayed 
for the peaceful overthrow of slavery by legislative 
enactments, and we asked all classes to aid us. We 
asked "Whigs " to vote against the vilest oligarchy that 
the sun ever shone upon, and in accordance with those 
true principles of. Freedom with which their name had 


been for centuries so honourably associated. We asked 
" Democrats " to bear in mind the true meaning of the 
word they had so constantly in their mouths ; and so to 
vote as to secure the ascendancy of true Democracy 
everywhere — the rights of man as man, without distinc- 
tion of colour, country, or condition. And we asked 
Christians simply to vote as they prayed. But no : the 
"Whigs" seemed to care more for "national banks," 
and " tariffs," and " internal improvements," than the 
eternal principles of justice, and the inalienable rights 
of man. The " Democrats" seemed to think more how 
they should so "join hand in hand" with their " Southern 
brethren " as to secure to themselves the spoils of office. 
And the Christian, while he would pray at the evening 
prayer-meeting that our country might be governed by 
" righteous men ruling in the fear of God," would vote 
the next day for those who seemed to say in their hearts 
— " How doth God know ; and is there knowledge in 
the Most High ? " Alas ! He has since shown us how 
He " knew," in the terrible judgments with which He 
has visited us for our great national sin. 

Despairing, therefore, of winning over either of the 
two great parties to the cause of Freedom, the ardent 
friends of Liberty determined to organize a new party 
founded on its sacred principles. The consciences as 
well as the indignation of a large number in the Free 
States had been aroused by the triumphs of the slave 
power in the long-contested Missouri struggle in 1 820 
and 1 8 2 1 ; and in 1836 some earnest abolitionists in 
New York nominated and voted for an anti-slavery 
candidate for the Presidency, though there was no 
national organization. By the time, however, that the 


next presidential election came around in 1 840, the 
" National Liberty Party " was organized, and James 
G. Binney, its candidate for the Presidency, received 
seven thousand votes. At the next election, in 1844, 
he received nearly seventy thousand ; and in 1 848 
Martin Van Bur en, the "free-soil" candidate, received 
about two hundred and fifty thousand. Thus the party 
for Freedom, so small and so despised at first, grew 
stronger and stronger every year, until in i860 it 
placed Abraham Lincoln in the presidential chair. 
Then, as is well known, the slave-power, despairing of 
any longer controlling the counsels of the government, 
as it had done for half a century, raised the standard of 
rebellion to overthrow that government, and that, too, 
to found another "whose corner-stone should be 
Slavery." But, blessed be God, that, though encouraged 
and aided by too many traitors in the North, they were 
utterly thwarted in their infernal purpose, and that no 
portion of our country is now, or ever again can be, 
trodden by the foot of a slave. 

It is to be hoped that in the earlier days of this long 
contest between Freedom and Slavery, the following 
Addresses exerted their share of influence for the 
righteous cause, and in ultimately bringing about the 
auspicious result— of Freedom's being inaugurated in 
our public counsels. But, however this may be, the 
authors are more than willing to present them now to 
the present generation and for future times exactly as 
they were then written, and thus to contribute another 
mite to the permanent anti-slavery literature of their 
country. C. D. C. 

London, May, 1867. 


Of the two Addresses I place the Philadelphia first, simply 
because it was the first in the order of time. Had I placed 
them according to their merits, the Cincinnati Address would, 
of course, come first ; and the other next indeed, but, in the 
expressive language of Milton — u long after next." 

c. r>. a 





Friends and Fellow Citizens. 

T a Convention of Delegates of the 
Liberty Party of the Eastern section 
of Pennsylvania, held in Philadel- 
phia, Feb. 22, 1844, the under- 
was made the chairman of a com- 
mittee appointed to address you upon the great 
cause which we are laboring to promote. We 
now ? therefore, proceed to set before you our 
views, ooir principles, and our aims ; to state the 
means by which we believe those aims will be ac~ 

* I may now (1867) here state these facts, that the Liberty 
Committee ordered, at first, twenty thousand copies of this 
address to be printed, and the types to be kept standing, as it 
was not stereotyped ; and that two editions more, of twenty 
thousand each, were subsequently printed. 


complished ; and to invite your cordial and earnest 
co-operation with us, to secure such results as, we 
are sure, will be for the best good both of our 
State and of our country. 


In the first place, then, we would state, that the 
Liberty Party, though new in its organization, is not 
new in its principles. It is, in the great elements of 
its character, only an old party revived. It is, in 
its principles, the same party as that which, in 1 776, 
rallied around the Declaration of Independence, 
and " pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their 
sacred honor/' to maintain the noble sentiments 
avowed in that instrument, that u all men are 
created equal, and are endowed by their Creator 
with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness." It is, in its principles, the 
same party as that which, in 1787, formed our 
own federal Constitution, the great object of which, 
as set forth in the preamble, is " to establish 
justice — to promote the general welfare — and to 
secure the blessings of liberty J 9 It is, in its 
principles, the same party that, in the same year, 
in the Congress of the old Confederation, passed, 
unanimously, that ever-to-be-honoured Ordinance, 
in which it is declared that the whole territory of 
our country North and West of the river Ohio, 
should never be trodden by the foot of a slave. 


Such, fellow citizens, are the principles of our 
party. We cherish the same views as Washington, 
who wrote these very words, — " There is but one 
effectual mode by which the abolition of slavery 
can be accomplished, and that is by legislative 
authority, and this, so far as my suffrage will 
go, shall not be wanting." We cherish the 
same views as Patrick Henry, who declared " that 
we owe it to the purity of our religion, to show 
that it is at variance with that law which warrants 
slavery."* We cherish the same views as Robert 
Morris, who, in the Convention for forming the 
Constitution, pronounced slavery to be a a nefarious 
institution." We cherish the same views as 
William Pinckney, who said in the House of 
Delegates of Maryland, in 1789, " By the eternal 
principles of natural justice, no master in this state 
has a right to hold his slave for a single hour." 
We cherish the same views as Jefferson, who 
uttered these memorable words, " I tremble for 
my country when I reflect that God is just, and 
that his justice cannot sleep forever.' 5 We cherish 

* In a letter dated January 18, 1773, Patrick Henry thus 
wrote :— " Is it not a little surprising that the professors of 
Christianity, whose chief excellence consists in softening the 
human heart, and in cherishing and improving its finer 
feelings, should encourage a practice so totally repugnant to 
the first principles of right and wrong ?" Again he says : — 
" It would rejoice my very soul that every one of my fellow 
beings was emancipated. Believe me, I shall ever honour 
the Quakers for their noble efforts to abolish slavery." 


the same views as Dr. Rush, who declared slavery 
to be " repugnant to the principles of Christianity, 
and rebellion against the authority of a common 
Father." And we cherish the same views as 
Madison, who said, in the Convention of 1787, 
that it was " wrong to admit into the Constitution 
even the idea that there could be property in 

Yes, fellow citizens, these men of former days, 
and many more that might be named, saw and felt 
the evils of slavery. They saw that it must be a 
curse to any country ; and they saw the great in- 
consistency of cherishing it in our own. They 
saw, too, that if they themselves had any right, in 
1776, to resist unto blood for a pound of tea, the 
slave had an infinitely higher right to make the same 
resistance for an infinitely higher object. This, one 
of these patriot spirits had the candour to express, 
declaring " that in such a contest the Almighty had 
no attributes which could take sides with the mas- 
ter." The men of those days looked forward, confi- 
dently, to the speedy extinction of slavery. In the 
Conventions of several of the States that met to 
ratify the Constitution, these opinions were unequi- 
vocally expressed. In the Convention of Massa- 
chusetts Judge Dawes remarked, that " slavery had 
received its death-wound, and would die of con- 
sumption." In the Convention of Pennsylvania, 
Judge Wilson, himself one of the framers of the 
Constitution, said, " The new States which are to 


be formed will be under the control of Congress,, 
in this particular, and slavery will never be 
introduced among them„" And that great 
man, whose illustrious example can never be too 
often held up to us for imitation — General Wash- 
ington — wrote to John Sinclair, u The abolition of 
slavery must take place, and that too at a period 


Such, fellow citizens, were the opinions of the 
men who laid the foundations of our republic ; men 
of high, noble, wide-reaching views ; and who feared 
that nothing would so endanger the permanency of 
the fair fabric which their wisdom had reared, as 
the continuation of slavery. Far different, indeed^ 
felt and spoke and wrote those men, from many 
of our modern, so-called statesmen : far different 
from the Calhouns and the McDuffies, who declare 
u slavery to be the corner-stone of our republican 
institutions :" far different from Henry Clay, who- 
has proclaimed, unblushingly, that he is opposed to 
" any emancipation, immediate or gradual ; " and 
who pronounced the opinion of Madison, " that man 
cannot hold property in man/' to be a " visionary 
dogma:' 7 far different from Martin Van Buren^. 
who pledged himself before election to veto any bill 
that Congress might pass to abolish slavery in the 
District of Columbia : and far different from' many 
other prominent men of our times, whose highest 
ambition, we feel constrained to say,, seems to be,, 
to cringe to the slave pow T er„ 


We will now, therefore, proceed to set before you, 
historically, and in a very succinct manner, these 


Very soon after the formation of our Constitution, 
the slaveholders saw the great political power which, 
for the sake of peace and union, its framers had given 
them ; and they determined to use it for their own 
aggrandizement. Whether there was any express 
understanding, or any secret compact among them, 
that in all questions touching slavery they would 
go together as one man, can never be known. Be 
this, however, as it may, the fact that they have 
done so remains, and it is clear to every one who 
knows anything of the history of our country. No 
matter what other questions, apparently of momen- 
tous interest, have distracted different parties ; here 
the slaveholders, true to their instincts, have pre- 
sented but one undivided front. 


In the year 1790, Congress accepted from the 
States of Maryland and Virginia the territory often 
miles square, now the District of Columbia, for the 
purpose of locating there the capitol of the nation. 
When these states ceded this territory to Congress, 
they " relinquished the same to the government of 
the United States, in full and absolute right and 


exclusive jurisdiction/'* and all the state laws that 
before had existence there, became, of course, by that 

very act, null and void. The very act of Con- 
gress in that year, in relation to this subject, shows 
this truth most conclusively ; for that act ordained 
that the laws of Maryland and Virginia should con- 
tinue in force until otherwise ordered. To pass an 
act for their continuance is, of course, a full admis- 
sion that they would not continue without such an 
act. That act, therefore, is precisely the same as if 
Congress had enacted an entire new code for the per- 
petuity of slavery there. Had it any right to do this 
constitutionally? Clearly not. To argue that 
it had, would be to argue against the sun. The con- 
stitution gives no power to Congress to establish 
slavery. The men who framed that instrument 
would not allow the word " slave ?? to be inserted in 
it. Its preamble declares one of its objects to be to 
" secure the blessings of liberty/' not the curse of 
slavery ; and article fifth of the Amendments reads 
thus : " No person shall be deprived of liberty with- 
out due process of law." The act of Congress, 
therefore, that was framed to introduce slavery into 
the District of Columbia, was a plain, open, total 
violation of the constitution. But the Slave power 
went unitedly for it, and the deed was done. But 
every man, woman, and child, there held as a slave. 

* See Act of the State of Maryland, passed December 19, 



is at this moment virtually free ; and the Supreme 
Court of the United States would doubtless so de- 
cide, were it not for the fact, to which we shall 
soon particularly allude, that a majority of its judges 
are from the Slave states. 

And now we ask you, fellow citizens, to look at 
this subject for one moment longer. Look at the 
capitol of our nation, over which Congress, in the 
words of the Constitution, " exercises exclusive legis- 
lation in all cases whatever ;" look at it, transformed 
into a slave-market, the most extensive and loath- 
some of any in the world. See there, the domestic 
slave trade vigorously and unblushingly carried on 
in open day, a trade, which Judge C ranch and 
eleven hundred other citizens of the District, in a 
memorial to Congress in 1828, declare to be " more 
cruel in its operations and more demoralizing in its 
effects than the African slave trade itself." See 
there ? in the daily papers, standing advertisements 
for the purchase of men, women, and children. See 
there, every two or three weeks, cargoes of human 
beings shipped on board vessels for a Southern 
market, like so many beasts. Like beasts, did we 
say? Aye, worse; for, horrid as it is, they are 


any accident happen to the vessel, they have not 
even the chance of making an exertion for their 
safety ; but, as in that awful case that lately oc- 
curred near the mouth of the Ohio, may see others 
saving themselves, while they, helpless and un- 


pitied, must go at once, with their heavy irons 
fastened about them, deep, deep to the bottom. 

And how, fellow citizens, think you, these slaves 
are kept in security, until they can be safely ship- 
ped ? We will tell you. To a considerable extent 
in jails, built by your money, supported by your 
money, protected by your money. These, with 
the private prisons, are the receptacles for the safe 
keeping of husbands separated from wives, and 
wives separated from husbands ; of children from 
parents, and parents from children ; until, as they 
term it, " a cargo can be made up." Men of Penn- 
sylvania ! ye who enjoy the blessings of freedom 
unmolested ; ye who can look around on the happy 
faces at your own fireside, and feel that, in subjec- 
tion only to the Providence of God, they are all 
your own, and that no spoiler's hand can snatch 
one of that endeared group away, will you not feel 
in a case like this ? Aye, and will you not act, too ? 
How ? you may say. How ? By giving your vote 
for such men to fill all our public offices, from the 
highest to the lowest, as will exert all the power 
they can, to put an end to this abomination ; to this 
deep, foul, national disgrace. If the Slave states, 
in order to prop up a little longer their heaven- 
dariug system, will send men to Congress to legis- 
late for Slavery, will not you have the humanity as 
well as the manliness, to send men who will legis- 
late, against it? 

But we cannot enlarge upon this subject, full of 


interest though it be, but will next, in historical 
order advert to 


Fifteen millions of dollars of the people's money 
were paid to France for this territory, and when the 
purchase was made, French law, which before had 
obtained there, ceased, and it was the duty of Con- 
gress to adopt the same measures in relation to this 
territory, as it adopted in 1787 in relation to the 
North West Territory, namely, to make it free. 
But no, this would not suit the slaveholders, and it 
was not done ; and thenceforth that vast territory 
was to have its rich soil moistened with the tears and 
blood of the slave. The consequences are already 
seen. Three states have already been formed out of it, 
having now ten votes in the House of Representa- 
tives, and six votes, almost one-eighth, in the Senate 
of the United States. Here you see another of the 
monstrous encroachments of the Slave power upon 
constitutional liberty. Next in order, we will in- 
introduce you to 


This was purchased of Spain ; and again it became 
the duty of Congress to make such provisions, that 
a slave should never tread its soil. Slavery, we know., 
is not a state of nature, and the right to hold a slave 


is not a natural, but a legal right. Slavery is a 
creature of positive law, and exists within those 

limits, and within those limits ONLY, where the 
laws that sanction it have force. The second clause 
of section second, article fourth, of the Constitution, 
says, " Congress shall have power to make all 
needful rules and regulations respecting the terri- 
tories belonging to the United States; 79 and article 
fifth of the " Amendments/ 5 reads, " No person 
shall be deprived of liberty without due process of 
law : ?J while the preamble declares one of its objects 
to be, " to secure the blessings of liberty'' 

Now, what are the facts ? We all know them, 
and know them too well. There are now, according 
to the last census, in the territory of Florida, twenty- 
five thousand seven hundred and seventeen human 
beings held in slavery there, in utter, shameless 
defiance of the Constitution. And what have been 
the consequences to this nation? Since 1836, more 
than forty millions of dollars have been ex- 
pended on the Florida war, for the special benefit 
of the slaveholder, to drive the red man from his 
native forests and from the graves of his fathers, 
that he might not be able to give shelter to those 
who should fly to him for protection from the hand 
of oppression and tyranny. We first purchase 
Florida for five millions, and then expend 
forty millions more, that the slaveholder may 
hold his victims with a more secure grasp. But 
the money, enormous as is the amount, and coming 


home as it does to every man in the country, is 
nothing, and less than nothing, when we look at 
the lives sacrificed, the miseries endured, the cruel- 
ties practised, and every principle ©f honor and 
justice and humanity outraged and trampled on. 
Men of Pennsylvania! have you not something 
to do with slavery ? 


The next instance of the alarming extension of the 
Slave power, and one ever to be remembered, was 
the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave 
state. In 1820, the " District of Maine" petitioned 
for admission into the Union, It was proper that 
she should be admitted ; she had all the requisite 
qualifications, and no objections could be made to 
her on independent grounds. -But the Slave power, 
with Henry Clay, then Speaker of the House, at 
their head, declared, unequivocally, their firm and 
determined hostility to the admission of Maine, 
until Missouri should have been admitted as a 
Slave state. The struggle was long and severe. 
The debate on the subject was protracted through 
two sessions, and the excitement throughout the 
country was intense. The representatives from the 
Free states showed more spirit, more manliness, 
and a firmer determination to defend the Consti- 
tution from violation than they have ever done 
since ; and one of our own representatives, John 


Sergeant, delivered, on that occasion, a speech to 
which Pennsylvanians will ever be proud to refer. 
At first, the friends of freedom were in a majority. 
But the slaveholders, never for a moment relaxing 
in their vigilance, continued to move on in solid 
column ; and soon gained over enough of Northern 
votes to turn the scale, and thus that execrable 
project was finally carried, in utter defiance of every 
principle of natural justice, and of the letter, as well 
as of the general spirit of the Constitution. 

Lastly, but six months ago, a most nefarious 
plot was matured by the President and the Southern 
members of his cabinet, in a manner as mean from 
its secrecy, as the measure itself was daring in its 
wickedness— A PLOT TO ANNEX TEXAS 

Such is one class of facts, in the history of our 
country, to show the alarmingly increasing influ- 
ence of the Slave power in the councils of the 
nation. Let us now proceed to another class of 




I . Presidents. 

Since the organization of our government, the 
Slaveholding states have had six Presidents, who 
will have served, at the end of this term, forty- 



states, four, who have served twelve years 

and one month : and one of these four, Martin 
Van Buren, was elected on the ground of his being 
" a Northern man with Southern principles." And 
be it remembered, that no President from the Free 

states has ever been elected for a second term. 

2. Secretaries of State. 

Next in importance to the President is the office 
of Secretary of State. He it is that has the manage- 
ment of all the business and correspondence with 
foreign courts ; that instructs all ambassadors, 
ministers, commissioners, and consuls ; and that 
negotiates all the treaties Of the sixteen Secre- 
taries of State since the formation of the Constitu- 
tion, the Slave states have had twelve, the Free 
states four. 

3. The Judiciary, 

In the Judiciary, the very balance wheel of our 
government, and which has continually before it 
the most important questions of which man can 
take cognizance ; questions of constitutional law ; 
questions of chartered rights and privileges ; ques- 
tions involving millions of property ; and above 
all, questions that are to decide the liberty or 
slavery of man ; here, we say, the preponde- 
rance of the Slave power is still more alarming. 

First, look at the Districts, and see how une- 
qually, how unjustly they are divided. Vermont, 


Connecticut, and New York constitute one District, 

with one Judge, They have forty-two Repre- 
sentatives in Congress, and a free population of 
3,030,826 ; while Alabama and Louisiana, with but 
eleven Representatives, and with a free population 
of but 521,183, a little more than one sixth of 
the former, constitute another District, with another 
Judge. Then compare^ where the comparison 
comes more home to ourselves. New Jersey and 
Pennsylvania constitute the third District ; Missis- 
sippi and Arkansas the ninth. The former has 
twenty-nine Representatives in Congress, and a 
free population of 2,096,601 ; the latter, but five 
Representatives in Congress, and but 258,079 of 
free population* 

Second, look at the manner in which the bench 
of the Supreme Court of the United States has ever 
been, and still is constituted. Of the twenty-seven 
Judges of that Court, since the adoption, of the 
Constitution, the Slave states have had seven- 
teen, the Free states but ten : and of the eigh- 
teen Attorneys- General, the number has been against 
us in the still greater ratio of thirteen to five, 
Within the last nine years ? six appointments have 
been made to the bench of the Soprenie Court, and 
all these from the Slave states; and that, too, 
men of Pennsylvania, when we had within our own 
domain such men as Binney, and Dallas, and 
Chauncey, and Sergeant, and Rogers, and Gibson ; 
men whom we know to be equal to any, and supe- 


rior to most of those who now occupy the seats of 
that high tribunal. Is there not something deep, 
dark, designing in all this ? Does not the Slave 
power mean to keep, if it can, a majority of the 
Judges on their side, to decide their way in all 
questions involving human liberty? Who, with 
his eyes open, can for one moment doubt it ? 

4. Speakers of the House. 

But the Slave power is not content with all this. 
It is determined, if it can, to give its own com- 
plexion to our national legislation. To this end, it 
has so managed, generally, that the Speaker of the 
House of Representatives shall be identified with 
its interests. He it is that appoints all the Com- 
mittees of the House. These Committees report 
on the various subjects committed to their charge, 
and their reports are printed in large numbers, and 
sent abroad on the wings of the wind, all over the 
land. Look back, then, into the history of our 
national legislation, and you will find that in thirty 
elections for Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives, the Slave states have secured their man 
twenty-one times, or for forty years; the Free 
states, nine times, or for seventeen years. 
With the exception of Mr. Taylor, of New York, 
who served three years, the Free states have 


1809. Then go over to the other side of the Capitol, 
and you will find that of the seventy-six Presidents 



of the Senate, pro tempore, the Slave states have 
had sixty, the Free states sixteen. 

But we have neither space nor time, fellow 
citizens, to take up all the Offices and Departments 
of our Government, and to comment upon each 
separately. We will therefore select a few, and 
place them in a tabular form, comparing the num- 
ber of those furnished by the Free states with those 
furnished by the Slave states, and leave you to 
make your own comments. 

Presidents . 
Secretaries of State 
Judges of the Supreme Court . 
Speakers of the House 
Presidents of the Senate (pro tern,) 
Attorneys-General . 
Secretaries of War . 
„ „ Navy , 
„ ,, Treasury 
Postmasters- General 
Ministers of all kinds to foreign 
powers .',-..,'. 

136 232 

We said that we would leave you to make your 
own comments. We cannot, however, but remark, 
that whenever Northern men have been elected or 
appointed to any of these high offices, Southern 




























men, whose vigilance is worthy of a better cause, 
have always been very careful first to see that the 

persons thus selected have a u fellow feeling " with 
themselves on the subject of slavery. In 1841, six 
persons, all from the slave states, had been 
nominated to diplomatic stations previous to the 
nomination of Edward Everett, of Massachusetts 
to the Court of St. James, and all were confirmed 
without hesitation ; but his nomination was laid on 
the table. For what reason ? Because he was 
unfit for the station ? No ! for no one doubted 
that in every intellectual qualification he was im- 
measurably superior to all the rest. But— and 
mark it well, fellow citizens — because he was 
thought by the Southern senators not to favor 
sufficiently their " peculiar institutions;" a soft 
phrase which they use, we know, for slavery, when 
conscience, paying thus an involuntary tribute to 
justice and virtue, would cause the latter term to 
stick in their throat. At the rejection of such a 
man, a few Northern editors did, for a time, shake 
off their mouse-like spirits, and speak out like men. 
The nomination was at last confirmed, but- — and 
mark this, too— not until some of the Northern 
friends of Mr. Everett had the meanness so far to 
cringe to the Slave power, as to send letters to 
Washington to assure their '• Southern friends " 
that he was not tinctured with " abolition senti- 
ments/' And within this year, of six nominations 
sent on one day to the Senate of the United States 


to fill important public stations, five were from the 
Northern and one from a Southern state ; all from 
the Free states were rejected, while the one from 
Virginia was confirmed ; though he had been a 

second in a duel, which, in a moment, made a wife 
a widow, and a family of children orphans. 


Having thus shown you, fellow citizens, the vast 
preponderance of the Slave power in all the impor- 
tant offices of our government, we will now proceed 
to set before you a few other facts, which prove, 
conclusively, how it has extended its power and 
exerted its influence in every possible direction, to 
the greatest injury of our country's best interests, 

i. The 'Navy. 

Ever since the glorious act of England in eman- 
cipating all the slaves in her West India colonies-— 
an act which, from the most happy results that 
have followed, seems to be held up to the world as 
a signal example that it is always safe to do right, 
— the Slave power has been most vigilant in 
securing a preponderance in the Navy. The 
" Home Squadron " has been a favourite measure 
with them, that they might have protection for 
their infamous coastwise slave trade, as well as pro- 
tection for their sea coast. A guilty conscience 


sees a thousand threatening dangers where an 
honest man sees none; and the slaveholder seems 
to have continually flitting before his distempered 
vision scores of vessels laden with armed free 
blacks from the West Indies, approaching our 
Southern shores, to avenge the cause of their 
brethren in bonds. Hence they have taken special 
care to have a majority of the officers of the Navy 
from their own states, and to have the Naval 
Bureaus at Washington under their own control. 

Of the forty-three officers in the Navy Depart- 
ment in Washington, thirty -one are from the Slave 
states, and but twelve from the Free states ; and of 
all the officers in the Navv, whether in actual ser- 
vice or waiting orders, Pennsylvania, with a free 
population more than double that of Virginia, has 
but one hundred and seventy '-seven , while Virginia 
has two hundred and twenty-four. The late Secre- 
tary of the Navy, Judge Upshur, in the first year 
of his office, appointed thirty-two midshipmen, of 
whom fifteen were taken from Virginia, and the 
other seventeen from Maryland, Delaware, and the 
District. — We might extend this train of remark 
to a great extent, but we have not space. The facts, 
however, show the deep, well-laid design of the 
Slave power to be, to secure the services of the 
Navy for the defence of Slavery, and, in the event 
of a war, to secure the possession of the Navy 

Look, now, fellow citizens, at the appropriations 


for the fiscal 'year ending June, 1844. They are 
— for the Army, more than two millions ; for the 
Fortifications, &c, more than four millions; for 
the Navy, more than eight millions, and for the 
Peace establish ment, not quite seven millions of 
dollars. Here, in a time of profound tranquillity? 
the expenses for war are more than double those 
for peace. 

But why so much, you may ask, for the Navy ? 
We will tell you. The " Home Squadron " is to 
consist, this year, of sixteen vessels. Yes ? 
fellow citizens, to protect our own coasts, an esta- 
blishment is to be kept up of three frigates, six 
sloops, two steamers, and five brigs and schooners. 
Do you ask the reason of all this array of 
military force ? Let the late Judge Upshur, the 
Secretary of the Navy, himself from Virginia,, 
answer. In his late Report he speaks of " those 
incursions from which so much evil is to be appre- 
hended." Again : " The effect of these incursions*, 
on the Southern portion of our country, would be 
disastrous in the extreme." And again : " The 
Southern naval stations, more especially, re- 
quire a large force for their security. A large 
number of arms is kept in each of them, which, by 
a sudden irruption of the class of people who are 
not citizens, might be seized and used for very 
disastrous purposes." 

Here, fellow citizens, you have the whole of it, 
Here you see that we of the Free states are to be 


taxed to an enormous amount, and that the power 
of the General Government is to be used, to keep 
the slaves of the Southern states from insurrection ! 

The question will not now, we think, be asked by 

you-—" What has the North to do with Slavery? " 

2. The Post Offi.ce. 

Scarcely any one of the great elements of modern 
civilization is productive of more happy results to 
a country than the post office system, when pro- 
perly conducted ; that system by which a Govern- 
ment takes upon itself the obligation to give to its 
subjects or citizens the power of communicating 
one with another, at any distance, throughout its 
whole domain. But that this system may do the 
most good, two things are essential ; namely, 
security and cheapness. The farmer, or the 
•merchant, or the tradesman, who wishes to learn 
the state of the markets— the mechanic or laborer, 
who desires to know the rate of wages — the friend, 
who is anxious to hear of the welfare of a friend, 
from whom he has long been parted — the mother or 
the father, who wishes to hear from an absent child 
-—the emigrant, who has left the home of his youth, 
and gone out into the far West, but who yet wishes 
to gain frequent tidings from that spot he has left 
behind, so dear to his memory ; — all these should 
be able to communicate with each other, freely and 
safely, indeed, but cheaply. The greatest, 



be A cheap pate of postage. In Great 
Britain, a Monarchy, a friend can send a letter to 
a friend to any part of the kingdom for two 
cents ; while in republican America it would cost 
him, in most cases, from six to twelve times that 

Now, fellow citizens, let us tell you that the 
great obstacle to a safe and cheap postage is the 
Slave power. In 1835, Amos Kendall, the 
Postmaster General, to please the citizens of 
Charleston, South Carolina, wrote to the Post- 
master there, " So far as I can prevent it no anti- 
slavery pamphlets or papers shall be circulated 
through the public mails ; " and the citizens of 
that city met, and passed a series of resolutions, in 
which they declared themselves determined to 
resist, by force, any attempt to send through the 
mail what they termed u incendiary pamphlets;" 
and actually opened a number of letters, and 
burnt a large number of papers and pamphlets ! ! 
But this is not all. In the same year the Post- 
master of New York " assumed the responsibility" 
of suppressing such papers as he thought proper, 
and of refusing the mail to such citizens as had 
sent to him some copies of the Anti-Slavery 
Reporter; and in the year 1838, a large number 
of the " Baltimore Religious Magazine/' con- 
taining an article on " Bible Slavery/' which did 
not please the slavebreeders of Petersburg, Vir- 
ginia, were taken from the Post Office, and burnt 



in the street, in the presence, and by direction of 
the Mayor and Recorder!! Such outrageous 
violations of the Constitution need no comment. 

You thus see, fellow citizens, how the Slave 
power tramples on the sacredness of the mail. We 
will now show you by figures how and why the 
same power has thus far opposed, and successfully 
opposed, all reduction of our present enormous 
rates of postage. 

According to the last report of the Postmaster 
General, the excess of revenue over the expenditure 
in the Free states is 552,066 dollars ; while the ex- 
cess of expenditure over the revenue in the Slave 
states is 545,262 dollars ; that is, while the Free 
states are a gain to the department of more than half 
a million of dollars, the Slave states are a loss to 
the department of over half a million of dollars ; in 
other words, Northern freemen pay the postage of 
Southern slaveholders. Compare our own state, 
fellow citizens, with Virginia, and the contrast is 
still more striking. In Pennsvlvania the excess of 
the revenue over the expenditure is 147,409 dol- 
lars ; in Virginia the excess of expenditure over the 
revenue is 50,777 dollars; so that our citizens, 
besides paying our own postage, pay the postages 
of Virginia, and then have enough to make up the 
deficiencies of Maryland, South Carolina, and 
Mississippi. No wonder the Slave power has 
opposed all reduction of rates. The present system 
suits them exactly. And what do we get in return 


for thus paying their postage ? We have told 
you. We have our letters opened and our papers 

3. Public Lands. 

Whenever there is to be any distribution of 
money, fellow citizens, the slaveholders always 
manage to get the " lion's share." This they did 
in the " Distribution Bill/' which was passed in 
1841, to distribute the proceeds of the public 
lands among the several states. They secured 
their object by having the distribution based upon 
" federal numbers," that is, according to their re- 
presentation in Congress, where three-fifths of the 
slaves are represented, and not according to free 
population. Supposing the proceeds of the public 
lands to be three millions of dollars, Pennsylvania, 
with a free population more than double that of 
Virginia by 142,349, instead of receiving more 
than double the amount, will receive 74,521 dol- 
lars less ; and with a free population equal to that 
of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, received 
94,330 dollars less. Had our Representatives in 
Congress had any just sense of what is due to the 
dignity, the honor, and the interests of their own 
state, they would have withstood, to the very last, 
a bill so grossly and palpably unjust. And let us 
tell you, fellow citizens, that you never will have 
Representatives in Congress of the right character 
until you make an effort to elect them. To secure 
the end, you must adopt the means. 


4. Surplus Revenue. 
Of the same character was the Bill passed in 
1836, to distribute the surplus revenue in the 
Treasury of the United States among the several 
states. The Secretary of the Treasury calculated 
that there would be twenty-two millions of dollars 
to be distributed, and that, too, in the words of the 
Bill, u in proportion to the representation of the 
states in the Senate and House of Representatives. " 
By this method of distribution the Slave states, with 
3,789,674 free inhabitants, received 9,428,580 dol- 
lars, while the Free states, with 7,003,239 free in- 
habitants, received but 12,571,420 dollars. Had 
our states received in proportion to our number of 
free inhabitants, instead of twelve millions and a 
half, we should have received eighteen millions. 
The state of Virginia received 1,721,090 dollars; 
Pennsylvania, 2,244,900 dollars; but had the whole 
amount of surplus revenue been proportioned as it 
shouldhave been, we should have received 3, 1 25,927 
dollars, or nearly one million more. Or, to place the 
injustice of this measure in a still broader light, a 
Virginia slaveholder, with an hundred slaves, re- 
ceives as much as sixty-one freemen of Penn- 
sylvania. We need make no further comments, 
fellow citizens, on a Bill so palpably unjust. 

5. Ratio of Representation. 

Immediately after the last Census of the United 
States had been taken, it became the duty of Con- 


gress to fix a new ratio for Representation. The 
subject was before the House of Representatives 
for a long time, and a variety of numbers were 
proposed that should be entitled to one Repre- 
sentative. At last they agreed that there should 
be one for every 50,189, which would have given 
306 members to the House ; and they sent the Bill 
to the Senate. That body, however, w T hich, of the 
two, has ever been most subservient to the Slave 
power, saw that this would not do. They saw r 
that this Bill would give the Free states a majority 
of 68 in the House. They knew, indeed, that 
our states must have, in any case, a majority; but 
they also knew that they could better manage and 
break down a small majority than a large one, and 
immediately they set themselves to work to see 
how they could weaken us the most. They, 
therefore, sent back to the House a Bill, giving 
one Representative to every 70,680 of federal 
population, and which w T ould reduce the House 
from its then number, 242 members, to 223 ; and 
give the Free states a majority of 47 instead of 68. 
But why that odd number 680 ? We will tell you, 
fellow citizens. It deprives the four great states of 
the North, namely, Massachusetts, New York, 
Pennsylvania , and Ohio of one member each. 
Take that number off, and let it be 70,000, and 
all the other states would have precisely the same 
number of Representatives. It would injure no 
one to take off the 680 ; but put it on, and it gives 


to the great states we have mentioned one Repre- 
sentative less. 

And then, too, look at the fractions unrepre- 
sented. While all the Slave states have but 
140,092, the Free states have 218,678, a differ- 
ence of 78,586. The fraction of Virginia is 2? 
that of Pennsylvania is 27,687, besides that she 
is deprived of one member in the House. And 
the House, to their shame be it said, concurred in 
this Bill, so clearly and designedly lessening their 
influence. Even the correspondent of the u New- 
York Herald " could thus write at the time : — 
u The Senate Apportionment has robbed the North 
of at least one quarter of its practical influence in 
the Union when regarded in its full extent; and 
the members of the Free states who voted for it 
have thus yielded and surrendered the rights of 
their constituents, and violated their trusts/' 


I. By controlling things abroad. 

If you will take the pains, fellow citizens, to look 
into our commercial treaties with foreign nations, 
you will find that the great majority of them are 
made with reference to the products of Slave labor. 
All our ambassadors to foreign courts have ever 


been particularly instructed in this respect. The 
cry has been continually, cotton, cotton ; tobacco, 
tobacco ; rice, rice. For very many years after 
the formation of our government, wheat and flour, 
the products of the Free states, constituted the 
chief articles of our export. We hardly need tell 
you that these were years of unexampled prosperity 
to our country. But in later times, and particu- 
larly since the signal overthrow of the friends of 
freedom in the Missouri struggle, down to that 
ever- to-be-remembered and disgraceful letter of 
instructions, written by Daniel Webster to Mr. 
Everett, at London, respecting the slaves ship- 
wrecked in the Creole, the Slave power, by uniting 
with one or the other of the two great parties of 
the North, has managed so adroitly, by securing 
all the important offices of the Government to 
itself, that the foreign markets for free labor pro- 
duce have been growing less and less, and those for 
the products of slave labor have been constantly 
enlarging. We have seen England, France, Austria, 
and Russia, one after another, induced, by the 
incessant persuasions of our General Government, 
to modify or remove their onerous duties on 
cotton and tobacco ; while not an effort has 
been made to induce England to alter her corn- 
laws ; or to persuade France, or any other 
European power so to modify their tariffs, as to 
favor the importation, into those countries, of the 


wheat, the provisions,* the products of the 
fisheries, the forests, and the mines, or any of the 
various manufactures from the Free states of the 
North or the West. 

2. By controlling things at home. 

Here, fellow citizens, we have to speak of a 
subject, which we have all, within the last ten 
years, more or less severely felt — the influence of 
the Slave power in producing our embarrassments 
in commerce, in agriculture, and in all the arts and 
employments of life. Looking always with a most 
jealous eye upon the prosperity of the North, and 
knowing that, with the indomitable energies of 
free labor, it can adapt itself to almost any system, 
provided it be permanent, the object of the Slave 
power has ever been change, change, change. 

Very many years ago foreign commerce found 
no favor in its eyes, but domestic manufactures 
were loudly called for. Well, domestic manufac- 
tures were established. But scarcely had the 
North begun to put forth its giant strength in 
them, when the South felt that its locks must be 
shorn, and demanded a return to free trade, under 
the threat of dissolving the Union, unless this 
demand were complied with. All the changes 
that have been made in the tariff that have ope- 

* England has lately made some alteration in her tariff 
as regards te provisions 5 " but no thanks to the powers at 


rated unfriendly to Northern interests, (and such 
changes have taken place every few years,) have 
been made by the South ; and " the great compro- 
miser," Henry Clay, has always managed to 
u compromise " but one way — against free, and 
for slave labor. 

But, above all, look at the enormous losses which 
the North has sustained from its Southern trade. 
It has found, by its own sad experience, that there 
is more than one " Grand Gulf" at the South; 
that the whole South is but one Grand Gulf, 
constantly calling for and swallowing up the 
free capital of the Free states. This, the failure 
of the U. S. Bank ; this, the losses of thousands of 
merchants, and manufacturers, and mechanics 
throughout our Free states, affecting everywhere 
so injuriously the great farming interests, most 
conclusively prove. 

It is computed that the Slave states owe the 
Free states, at the lowest estimate, THREE 
while some have reckoned it as high as four 


York and other cities of the North and East, lost 
ONE hundred MILLIONS of dollars in Southern 
debts. In 1838, Maryland, Virginia, and Ken- 
tucky lost EIGHTY MILLIONS of dollars, because 
Mississippi, that " chivalrous " state, refused to 
pay for the slaves she had illegally imported, 
But this loss fell ultimately on the Free states^ 


who received in payment for the debts due to 
them from the slave selling states, paper endorsed 
by the banks of the slave buying states — the 
banks at Mobile, Vicksburg, Grand Gulf, and 
New Orleans. 

And now, fellow citizens, let us come home to 
ourselves. You all remember, too well, the 
fall of the United States Bank, and the other 
banks in Philadelphia, a few years ago ; and how 
many banks in the interior, by having more or 
less of the stock and other obligations of these 
institutions, were materially crippled. And you 
remember, too, the utter failure of many of our 
best merchants ; and the great, though not de- 
structive, losses of many more. Why, and whence 
all this ? We will tell you, — connections with the 
Slaveholding states, by speculations in cotton, by 
giving long credits to Southern merchants for 
goods, and by purchasing the stocks of their banks, 
and railroads, and other companies, to enormous 
amounts. The United States Bank has now due 
to it from the Slave states debts to the amount of 
at least twenty millions of dollars ; and the 
merchants of Philadelphia, including all who pur- 
chased Southern stocks, lost from the year 1834 
to 1839, at the lowest estimate, thirty millions 
of dollars, in the Slave states, of which they 
will never receive one cent. 

Here, then, we have an amount of fifty 
millions of dollars utterly sunk. The dis- 


tress which these losses occasioned, you all, fellow 
citizens, well know ; and many, too many, of you 
most deeply feel. How many a person in the 
decline of life, who had retired from business, how 
many an orphan, how many a widow, had their 
all laid up in that mammoth institution, in the 
fullest assurance that it would yield them a sure 
and regular return while life should last. And at 
its fall, how much sorrow, how much distress, how 
much real, bitter, pinching poverty did it bring 
with it. How many a hearth was made cold and 
cheerless, how many a mansion made desolate, 
how many were thrown upon the cold charities of 
the world. Nor were the losses confined to 
Philadelphia. By no means. They reached every 
corner of the State— every log house beyond the 
mountains. Can fifty millions of dollars 
be sunk in a city, the great emporium of trade and 
commerce — the great receiver and distributor of 
the products of labor, and the loss not be felt 
along every road, and highway and canal that 
leads to it ? Can a central, vital function of the 
body be diseased, and the derangement not be felt 
throughout every vein and artery of the system? 

our object. 

And now, fellow citizens, you may ask, what is 
our object in thus exhibiting to you the alarming 
influence of the Slave power? Do we wish to 


excite in your bosoms feelings of hatred against 
citizens of a common country ? Do we wish to 
array the Free states against the Slave states in 
hostile strife? NO, fellow citizens, NO, NO. 
But we wish to show you that, while the Slave 
states are inferior to us in free population, having 
not even one half of ours ) inferior in morals, 
being the region of bowie knives and duels, of 
assassinations and lynch law; inferior in mental 
attainments, having not one-fourth of the number 
that can read and write ; inferior in intelligence,* 
having not one-fifth of the number of literary and 
scientific periodicals ; inferior in the products of 
agriculture and manufactures, of the mines, of the 
fisheries, and of the forest ; inferior, in short, in 
everything that constitutes the wealth, the honor, 
the dignity, the stability, the happiness, the true 
greatness of a nation, it is wrong, it is unjust, it is 
absurd, that they should have an influence in all 
the departments of government so entirely dispro- 
portionate to our own. We would arouse you to 
your own true interests. We would have you, 
like men, firmly resolved to maintain your own 
rights. We would have you say to the South, — 

* And here, in this connection, we would remark, that if 
Northern freemen had a proper sense of their own dignity 
and rights, they would say to every editor of a newspaper or 
magazine, who cringes to the Slave power, if you choose 
rather to favor that region so devoid of intelligence, to that 
region go ; and we will support those journals that " know 
their rights, and knowing dare maintain." 


if you choose to hug to your bosom that system 
which is continually injuring and impoverishing 
you ; that system which reduces two millions and 
a half of native Americans in your midst to the 
most abject condition of ignorance and vice, with- 
holding from them the very key of knowledge ; 
that system which is at war with every principle 
of justice, every feeling of humanity ; that system 
which makes man the property of man, and per- 
petuates that relation from one generation to 
another; that system which tramples, continually, 
upon a majority of the commandments of the 
Decalogue ; that system which could not live a 
day if it did not give one party supreme control 
over the persons, the health, the liberty ? the 
happiness, the marriage relations, the parental 
authority and filial obligations of the other ; if 
you choose to cling to such a system — cling to it ; 
but you shall not cross our line; you shall not 
bring that foul thing here. We know, and we 
here repeat it for the thousandth time, to meet, for 
the thousandth time, the calumnies of our enemies, 
that while we may present to you every considera- 
tion of duty, we have no right, as well as no 
power, to alter your State laws. But remember, 
that slavery is the mere creature of local or statute 
law, and cannot exist out of the region where such 
law has force. "It is so odious/' says Lord 
Mansfield, " that nothing can be suffered to support 
it but positive law." 


We would, therefore, say to you again, in the 
strength of that Constitution under which we live, 
and which no where countenances slavery, you 
shall not bring that foul thing here. You shall 
not force the corrupted, and corrupting blood of 
that system into every vein and artery of our body 
politic. You shall not have the controlling power 
in all the departments of our government at home 
and abroad. You shall not so negotiate with 
foreign powers, as to open markets for the products 
of slave labor alone. You shall not so manage 
things at home, as every few years to bring bank- 
ruptcy upon our country. You shall not, in the 
apportionment of public moneys, have what you 
call your " property'' represented, and thus get that 
which, by no right, belongs to you. You shall 
not have the power to bring your slaves upon our 
free soil, and take them away at pleasure ; nor to 
reclaim them, when they, panting for liberty, have 
been able to escape your grasp ; for we would have 
it said of us, as the eloquent Curran said of Britain, 
the moment the slave touches our soil, " The ground 
on which he stands is holy, and consecrated to 
the Genius of Universal Emancipation." 

Thus, fellow citizens, we come to 

It is, in the words of the Constitution, " to 




would, therefore, here utter our solemn protest 
against the nefarious doctrine avowed by Henry 
Clay, in the Senate of the United States, in 
January, 1839, that " this Government is bound 
to protect the domestic slave trade/' We would 
say, in the eloquent language of that noble son of 
freedom, Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, " Let the 
whole North in a mass 9 in conjunction with the pat- 
riotic of the South, withdraw the moral sanction and 
legal power of the Union from the sustainment of 
slavery." We would employ every constitu- 
tional means to eradicate it from our entire country, 
because it would be for the highest welfare of our 
entire country. We would have liberty established 
in the District, and in all the Territories. We 
would put a stop to the internal slave trade, pro- 
nounced, even by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, of 
Virginia, to be " worse and more odious than the 
foreign slave trade itself/' We would, in the 
words of the Constitution, have " the citizens of 
each state have all the privileges and immunities 
of citizens in the several states ;" and not, for the 
color of their skin, be subjected to every indignity, 
and abuse, and wrong, and even imprisonment.* 

* Read the memorial of citizens of Boston to the House of 
Representatives, on the imprisonment of free citizens of Mas- 
sachusetts by the authorities of Savannah, Charleston and 
New Orleans. 


We would have equal taxation. We would have 
the seas free. We would have a free and secure 
post office. We would have liberty of speech and 
of the press, which the Constitution guarantees to 
us. We would have our members in Congress 
utter their thoughts freely, without threats from 
the pistol or the bowie knife. We would have the 
right of petition most sacredly regarded. We 
would secure to every man what the Constitution 
secures, " the right of trial by jury/' We would 
do what we can for the encouragement and improve- 
ment of the colored race, and restore to them 
that inestimable right of which they have been so 
meanly, as well as unjustly, deprived — the right 
of suffrage. We would look to the best interests 
of the country, and the whole country, and not legis- 
late for the good of an Oligarchy, the most arro- 
gant that ever lorded it over an insulted people.* 
We would have our commercial treaties with foreign 
nations regard the interests of the Free states. 
We would provide safe, adequate, and permanent 
markets for the produce of free labor. And, 
when reproached with slavery, we would be able 
to say to the world, with an open front and a clear 
conscience, our General Government has nothing 

* The slaveholders, at most, do not number over 250,000 5 
not so many as there are inhabitants in the city and districts 
of Philadelphia. How humiliating that such a set of men 
should govern such a country. 


to do with it, either to promote, to sustain, to 
defend, to sanction, or to approve. 

Thus, fellow citizens, you see our objects. You 
may now ask, by what means we hope to attain 
them. We answer, by 


What is political action ? It is, acting in a 
manner appropriate to those objects which we wish 
to secure through the agency of the different 
departments of Government. He, for instance, 
who desires Congress to charter a national bank, 
or to pass a highly restrictive tariff, will do what 
he can to send to Congress such men as are known 
to be favorable to those objects. So he who is 
interested for the freedom of millions of the human 
race; who desires that our general government 
may be entirely divorced from all connection with 
slavery ; who wishes to see our country governed 
by "just men/' will, if consistent, adopt measures 
appropriate to secure such ends. What are those 
measures ? There is but one answer. The only 
way in which he can act constitutionally, is to go 
to the ballot-box, and there, silently and unostenta- 
tiously, deposit a vote for such men as will do 
what they can to carry out those principles which 
he has so much at heart. This is political 
action, or action in political affairs ; and is as 
pure, in itself, as action in domestic, or mercantile, 
or ecclesiastical affairs. We grant that not the 



purest associations have been connected with the 
phrase, because good men have too often stood 
aloof from political action, and have left the great 
affairs of government to be managed by not the 
most worthy ; — by those who make politics a sort of 

But we now, fellow citizens, propose to you a 
sort of political action in which you may most 
ardently engage without being soiled. It is the 
same political action which was enjoined more than 
three thousand years ago. " Moreover thou shalt 
provide out of all the people able men, such as fear 
God, men of truth, hating covetousness, and place 
such men over them to be rulers/'* This, fellow 
citizens, we have done, and this we ever intend to 
do; and in this action we now invite your aid. 

In saying this, we do not intend to underrate 
moral suasion. Far, very far, from it. None can 
value it more highly. We are always using it, and 
we hope ever to use it till slavery is overthrown. 
Moral power is, indeed, the great power. But as 
in most other cases, so here, this power must have 
a lever which it can grasp and wield, in order to 
be effectual. That lever is Political Action. 
Why? Plainly, because Slavery is the creature of 
u political action," and how else than by " political 
action" can it be abolished? The laws that sus- 
tain slavery are not the laws of God, but in total 

* Exodus xviii. 21. 


violation of His laws. Neither did they make 
themselves ; and they cannot annul themselves. 
They were made by men, and by men only can 
they be repealed. But they were made by selfish, 
unjust men ; by men regardless of the rights of 
their fellow-men. They must therefore be repealed 
by men of a character totally different: by men 
who regard justice and equal rights : by men who 
have no sympathy with the proud oppressor: by 
men who will dare to do right ; who will meet any 
obloquy, and face any danger in the course where 
duty leads. And how are such men to be placed 
in office? We answer, of course, by votes ? 
fellow citizens. There is no other constitutional 
way. The case is as clear as any axiom in mathe- 

We ask, then, how can any good man — any true 
friend of his country's best interests — any lover of 
justice and humanity— for a moment doubt what 
his duty herein is ? Will he withdraw from all 
action in the questions of the deepest public inte- 
rest, and leave everything to be managed hj those 
who make politics a trade ? And if he makes no 
effort, in the way the Constitution provides, to 
remedy great evils, with what face, we ask, can he 
complain of the continuance of those evils ? But 
you may ask why we adopt a 


We answer, because we believe this to be the 


only effectual mode to accomplish our object. For 
years and years we tried both the two great poli- 
tical parties ; but all in vain. Henry Clay himself 
said in the U. S. Senate, " It is not true, and I 
rejoice that it is not true, that either of the two 
great parties in this country has any design or aim 
at abolition. I should deeply lament if it were 
true." Of the great number of candidates, there- 
fore, whom we would question as to their views in 
relation to our great objects, some would not 
answer at all ; some would answ er in a manner 
insulting to our feelings ; and some would answer, 
like the oracle at Delphi, as profound as unmeaning. 
A very few would answer favorably to secure our 
votes, and then, after they were elected hj our 
votes, would turn around and laugh at our credu- 
lity. A sense of what is due to ourselves and to 
the best good of our country, has compelled us, 
therefore, to the course we have taken. 

At the approaching election, fellow citizens, you 
will have before you the candidates of three parties, 
from which you are to choose. The candidate of 
the Whig party for the Presidency is 


It is painful to us, fellow citizens, at any time, to 
speak against the character of any one. But in a 
case like this, when most unworthy candidates are 
presented for your suffrage by two of the parties, 


feeling must yield to duty, and we must tell you 
why they are unworthy of your confidence. 

There are some features of the moral character 

of Henry Clay which we have not the least desire 
to discuss. From the time that he first entered 
upon public life at Washington, until within a very 
few years, unless common fame has done him the 
grossest injustice, his moral character could not but 
meet the reprobation of every good man. Had he 
given any evidence of sincere repentance, we would 
be the last even to allude to these things. That he 
is utterly unworthy of the suffrages of the friends 
of liberty, however, we need hardly tell you. That 
a man who will say in a speech before the Coloni- 
zation Society, that he is utterly opposed to all 
emancipation of the slaves, either " immediate or 
gradual, without their removal ;" that a man who 
exerted all his influence for the admission of Mis- 
souri into the Union, as a slave state ;* that a man 
who declared in the Senate of the United States, 
February 9, 1839, that u that is property which 
the law declares to be property "■ — •" that two hun- 

* As if the deed itself was not bad enough, he must add to 
its wickedness, the wickedness of violating the Fourth Com- 
mandment " It was in this very Chamber, Senator Holmes* 
of Maine, presiding in a committee of the Senate, and I in a 
committee of twenty -four of the House of Representatives, on 
a Sabbath day, that the terms were adjusted by which the 
Missouri compromise was effected." Speech, Feb. 23, 1835. 
In his recent Southern tour, he has been guilty of the same 
sin to a most shameless extent. 


dred years of legislation have sanctified negro 
slaves as property ;" who, in the same speech, 
pronounced the opinion of Madison, that " man 
cannot hold property in man/ 9 to be a " visionary 
dogma;" and who had the awful blasphemy to 
compare men ? held as slaves, with other " live 
stock ;" that such a man has no claims to a free- 
man's vote we need, certainly, take no pains to 

But that which should render Henry Clay 
still more odious, if possible, in the eyes of every 
good man, is the fact that HE IS THE GREAT 
DUELLIST OF THE LAND. The first affair 
of murder in which he was engaged was with 
Colonel Daviess, of Kentucky, in 1805. A chal- 
lenge was given and accepted, and both parties 
were proceeding to the work of death, when the 
seconds brought about a reconciliation, His mur- 
derous intention, however, remained. The second 
duel was with Humphrey Marshall, also of Ken- 
tucky, in 1808. They exchanged shots three 
times, and both parties were slightly wounded, 
when they declared themselves " satisfied." The 
third duel was with John Randolph, then Senator 
from Virginia, when Mr. Clay was Secretary of 
State under John Quincy Adams. At the second 
shot Mr. Clay's ball passed through Mr. Ran- 
dolph's dress, when both parties declared a cessa- 
tion of hostilities. In these instances, indeed, he 
did not kill his antagonists; not, however, from 


want of intention, but from want of skill. But the 
fourth affair of murder, in which Mr. Clay has 
been engaged, is that which ought to stamp his 
name with lasting infamy ; for it was he that 
penned the challenge, and arranged the terms of 
that fatal duel which, in February, 1838, sent 
Jonathan Cilley, a member of Congress from the 
State of Maine, to his grave. Mr. Wise, in his 
place in Congress, declared, that Henry Clay 
" governed all the preliminaries" of that murderous 
affray 5 that he (Mr. Wise) " protested against the 
language of the challenge, which closed the door to 
an adjustment of the difficulty, but was over-ruled 
by Mr. Clay;" and that, " had the principals and 
the two seconds been free to act in this matter, not 
a shot would have been fired."* His hands, there- 
fore, are stained with the blood of the murdered 
Cilley, and all the waters of the ocean cannot wash 
it out. Lastly, as late as 1841, he showed as much 
eagerness for murder as ever ; for when, after that 
bitter war of words between himself and Mr. King, 
of Alabama, in the U. S. Senate, Mr. Clay pro- 
nouncing what Mr. King had said to be " unjust, 
false, and cowardly," intending thereby to provoke 
a challenge, that he might have the choice of 
weapons, Dr. Linn, of Missouri, handed a note to 
Mr. Clay, the latter said, before opening it, in tones 

* See Globe and National Intelligencer of January 29, 
2842, and Pennsylvanian of January 31, 1842. 


of most embittered rage, "a challenge, I suppose; 
I ACCEPT IT ;" thus showing that age had not 
cooled his ardor for the work of death. 

Thu^sfellow citizens, you have before you the 
candidate of the Whig party for the Presidency. 
The law of Pennsylvania, passed March 31, 1806, 
reads thus : " Any person fighting a duel, challeng- 
ing, or accepting a challenge, shall pay the sum of 
500 dollars, and suffer one year's imprisonment 
at hard labor, in the same manner as convicted 
felons are now punished." You therefore see, that, 
had Henry Clay been tried by our laws, he would, 
at three several times, have been sent to our Peni- 

We now ask you to listen to the warnings of 
some of the wisest and best men in our land. Says 
the distinguished Dr. Beecher, in a sermon deliv- 
ered about two years after Hamilton was murdered 
by Aaron Burr,— 

" The inconsistency of voting for a duellist is glaring. To 
profess attachment for liberty, and vote for a man whose 
principles and practice are alike hostile to liberty, is a farce 
too ridiculous to be acted by freemen. 

" In our prayers we request that God would bestow upon 
us good rulers 5 4 just men, walking in the fear of God. 5 But 
by voting for the duellist we demonstrate the insincerity of 
such prayers. 

" But you may say, if I do not vote for the man on my side, 
will not this be helping his antagonist, and will not this be as 
bad as if I voted directly ? No . . It is certainly a different 
thing whether a vile man comes into power by your agency, 
or in spite of it. But suppose the duellist in all respects, 


excepting this crime, is a better man than his opponent ; of 
two evils may we not choose the least ? Yes, of two natural 
evils you may ; if you must lose a finger or an arm, cut off 
the finger ; but of two sinful things you may choose neither, 
and therefore you may not vote for one bad man, a mur- 
derer, to keep out another bad man. It is * to do evil that 
good may come,' and of all who do this, the Apostle declares 
6 their damnation is just. 5 

" And now let me ask you, in conclusion, will you any 
longer, either deliberately or thoughtlessly, vote for these 
guilty men ? Will you renounce allegiance to your Maker, 
and cast the Bible behind your back ? Will you confide in 
men void of the fear of God, and destitute of moral principle? 
Will you intrust LIFE to MURDERERS and LIBERTY 
to DESPOTS ? Will you bestow your suffrage, when you know 
that, by withholding it, you may arrest this deadly evil — when 
the remedy is so easy, so entirely in your power 3 and when 
God, if you do not punish these guilty men, will most inevi- 
tably punish you ? " 

Says Dr. Sprague? of Albany, In a sermon 
preached after Cilley was murdered by Graves^— 

" Let every citizen, when he goes to the ballot-box, in- 
quire whether it will be safe to put his dearest interests into 
the keeping of a murderer ; and let him resolve, as he would 
keep a conscience void of offence, that no man who gives or 
accepts a challenge, shall ever have his vote.' 3 

With reference to the assertion often made 3 that 
fC we must choose the least of two evils/ 5 Dr. Bush- 
nell ? of Hartford* thus most solemnly exclaims :— 

" Merciful God ! has it come to this, that in choosing rulers, 
we are simply to choose whether the nation shall be governed 
by seven devils or ten ? Is this the alternative offered to our 
consciences and our liberties ? There never was a maxim 
more corrupt, more totally bereft of principle, than this— that 
between bad men,you are to choose the least wicked of the two. ?? 


What now, fellow citizens, shall be thought of 
those who, within a few weeks, have been running, 
in thousands, to hear the harangues of GRAVES 
the MURDERER, and who would elevate to the 

The candidate of the Democratic party is 


In the first edition of this Address, fellow-citizens, 
you will remember that the name of Martin Van 
Buren was inserted in this place. He was evi- 
dently the decided favorite of the great majority 
of his party at the North ; and no one doubted that 
he would receive the nomination of the Convention 
which was to assemble at Baltimore. Well, the 
Convention met. The Slave power insisted that 
two-thirds of the votes should be necessary to con- 
stitute a choice ; northern democrats yielded, as 
usual, to their masters ; when lo ! Mr. Van Buren, 
who at first had 146 out of 266 votes, is finally re- 
jected, and James K, Polk, of Tennessee, receives 
the vote of the Convention. 

But what had Mr. Van Buren done to displease 
the slaveholders ? We will tell vou : He had 
written a letter— the most creditable document he 
ever wrote — against the immediate annexation of 
Texas ; that scheme of the Slave power to extend 
its nefarious u institution." He, therefore, received 


but TWELVE votes from the Slave states, and a 
slaveholder is brought forward, who is an earnest 
advocate of Texas annexation, with all its at- 
tendant wickedness and consequent calamities ; and 
who has distinguished himself in nothing but in 
the tyranny with which he exercised his authority 
for four years, while Speaker of the House, in 
enforcing the u gag rule," to an extent that not 
even its notorious author had ever contemplated. 

And now we would ask, with all earnestness, 
how much longer, Citizens of the Free states, are 
ye to remain in vassalage to the slaveholding 
demagogues of the South ? How much longer 
will you do the bidding of that mere handful of 
men, who, with the words of democracy on their 
lips, are not only themselves trampling upon the 
dearest rights of two and a half millions of people 
in their own region, but have left no arts untried 
to make you their " allies " in support of their 
wicked system ? Democrats of the North ! ye 
who possess some self-respect, how much longer 
will you submit to these things ? Answer at the 
ballot-box ; and let the insolent " overseers" know^ 
in a language which they will understand, that 
they may rule slaves, but shall not rule fb,eemein t » 

We now present to you our own candidate, 


Of Michigan, and invite your strictest scrutiny 
into his character, and his qualifications for the 


high office for which we have nominated him. 
Born in Kentucky, in 1792, a graduate of 
Princeton College, in 18 10, and a Student of 
Law, at Philadelphia, he began the practice of his 
profession at Danville, his native place, and sub- 
sequently pursued it at Huntsville, Alabama. We 
have no space to go into the particulars of his life. 
His early attention to the subject of Slavery ; his 
acceptance of the agency of the American Colo- 
nization Society, for the Southern states, as a 
means by which he thought he might do good to 
the slave ; his subsequent convictions of the utter 
Inadequacy of that bubble scheme to effect the 
alleged object ; his long and most able letter of 
resignation as Agent, and as Vice-President of the 
Society, in which he makes the just remark, " we 
are living down the foundation principles of our 
happy institutions;" his noble act of giving free- 
dom to all his own slaves ; his efforts, against abuse 
and obloquy and threats of personal violence, to 
establish a free press in Cincinnati ; the great 
ability he displayed in conducting that press ; his 
speeches and essays and constitutional arguments 
on the subject of slavery, all these incidents of his 
life, and many more as creditable that might be 
named, give abundant evidence of his ample 
qualifications for the highest office in our govern- 
ment. But his talents and attainments, however 
great, would be nothing in our estimation, if they 
were not accompanied by something higher, purer, 


nobler. It is his stern integrity of character ; it is his 
high moral courage, it is his devoted and consistent 
piety, that make James Gillespie Birney 
eminently deserving the vote of every good man. 

Our candidate for the Vice-Presidency, 
THOMAS MORRIS, of Ohio, is one also in 
every way worthy of your confidence. While to 
his moral character no exceptions can be taken, in 
his public career he has shown himself to be a 
true Democrat by his regard for the rights of the 
people and the whole people. After that notorious 
anti-abolition speech of Henry Clay, to which we 
have before referred, Thomas Morris, of Ohio,, 
belonging to the so-called Democratic party, pre- 
sented a preamble and a series of resolutions to the 
Senate, drawn up with great ability, to meet the 
sophistry and the declamation of the Kentucky 
senator. He knew that to aet thus would be to 
lose his position with his own party ; but he took 
the course which duty, not self-interest, pointed 
out, and at the next election he was left at home 
to enjoy the richer rewards of an approving con- 
science; for 

" More true joy Marcellus exiled feels, 
Than Caesar with a Senate at his heels." 

Our candidate for Governor is 


Of Washington county. Of him we need say but 
little, as he is well known throughout the State, 


as much for his pure and elevated character, as for 
his distinguished intellectual abilities. Of strict 
integrity himself, he would leave no honest efforts 
untried that our State should have, at home and 
abroad, the same character for integrity, by the 
just payment of all our debts. True, he has 
fought no battles, but those of moral principle in 
the cause of human rights. But the time has 
nearly gone by, we trust, when the fact of a man's 
having been engaged in one or more wars, shall 
be thought to make him any better qualified for 
filling the chair of State. 

Such, fellow citizens, are the candidates which 
we present to you. Into their characters, and into 
the characters of all whom the Liberty Party, now 
or hereafter., may nominate for office, we invite 
your strictest scrutiny. If they be not found such 
as must meet the approbation of every good man 
who desires to see the highest oifices in our 
country filled by " just men, ruling in the fear of 
God ;" men who will be a " terror to evil doers, 
and a praise to them that do well ; " do not give 
them your suffrage. But if they be, come and 
help us to put them in. As to the probabilities of 
our success, we have everything to encourage us, 
not only in the JUSTICE, but also in the 


The scenes of mob violence that occurred in the 
city of Boston, in 1835, when those who spoke 


publicly against slavery were threatened with 
every indignity, are well known. Now the Liberty 
Party hold their meetings in " old Faneuil Hall/' 
the " cradle of Liberty/' and that immense room 
is crowded with eager listeners. A daily Liberty 
paper, also, conducted with signal talent, is pub- 
lished in that city ; while the vote of Massa- 
chusetts, from a few hundred in 1841, has reached 
to nearly 9000 in 1843. ^ n J 836, a mob at 
Cincinnati tore down the press, and hunted for 
the life of our candidate for the Presidency, and 
assailed with personal violence others well known 
as friends of the cause a Now there is published in 
that city, also, a daily paper, which, with consum- 
mate ability, advocates our principles. In 1837, 
resolutions from the state of Massachusetts, on the 
subject of slavery, were thrown by Congress, with 
contempt, upon the table ; now, resolutions from 
the same state are referred to a large committee^ 
of which the great champion of the right of 
petition is chairman. The majority in Congress 
against receiving all petitions on the subject of 
slavery, at first very large, has been growing less 
and less every year ; until, at last, the " gag rule/ 5 
as it is called, was lately carried but by barely one 
vote. In 1837, Dr. Crandall, of New York, was 
thrown into prison, in the District of Columbia,, 
for having anti-slavery pamphlets in his trunk* 
Now, a voice breaks forth from the dark walls of 
a prison in that very spot ; the sound penetrates 


the doors of the Capitol ; and the petition to 
Congress, from a colored man, to interpose in his 
behalf, is referred, by a large majority, to the Com- 
mittee on the Judiciary. In 1840, the first year 
of the organization of the Liberty Party, our vote 
for President was hardly 7000 in all the states ; 
while the last year, even for state officers, it 
amounted to upwards of 60, COO : thus more than 
doubling itself every successive year. The returns 
that have been received of a few elections this 
Spring show a still greater increase. New Hamp- 
shire, which last Fall gave only 3594 votes, has 
this Spring given about 6000. It requires but 
little arithmetic to see how soon, at this rate, our 
cause will be triumphant. Every day we are re- 
ceiving, in all the Free states, large accessions to 
our numbers, of true and honest hearts ; while we 
hear from the Slave states themselves, voices all 
around, to encourage us in our labors. In Delaware 
many of its best citizens are interested in the cause, 
and lately held a conference to adopt measures for 
the abolition of slavery in that state. In Maryland 
the infamous slaveholders' convention was an emi- 
nent instance how " God makes the wrath of man 
to praise him," as it doubtless advanced the cause 
of human freedom in that state very many years ; 
for an able weekly paper is now published in Bal- 
timore that takes strong anti-slavery ground. In 
Virginia we receive the most cheering intelligence, 
that, in a number of counties, systematic efforts are 


making to circulate anti-slavery publications, and 
to spread anti-slavery principles. In Tennessee a 
regular anti-slavery society has been established. 
In Kentucky one gentleman writes us, " The 
Liberty Party is destined to be the most powerful 
auxiliary in the hands of Providence for the over- 
throw of American slavery ;" while that noble 
champion of human rights, Cassius M. Clay, by 
his letters and speeches, and unceasing personal 
efforts, is gaining for himself a name that will grow 
brighter and brighter as time rolls on. 

Thus far at home. But if we look abroad, we 
find quite as much to gladden our hearts. The 
happy workings of emancipation in the British 
West Indies have exceeded the most sanguine ex- 
pectations of its warmest friends. The order and 
industry that there universally prevail — the 
wonderful improvement in morals, in education, 
and in everything indicative of a nation's pros- 
perity, are all clear manifestations of the blessing 
of God that attends an effort of justice and philan- 
thropy. The Emperor of Russia has already done 
much, and means to do still more, for ameliorating 
the condition of his serfs. France and Holland 
will, doubtless, soon take the same steps with their 
colonial possessions that Great Britain has with 
hers. The Bey of Tunis, even, has abolished the 
internal slave trade throughout his dominions, and 
has himself set to his people the noble example of 
giving liberty to all his own slaves, and of requiring 



all the officers of his court to do likewise ; while 
Mexico and the Republics of South America are 
determined that their practice shall be consistent 
with their avowed principles of liberty. Our 
country, as you thus see, fellow citizens, must 
therefore move soon in the great work, or we shall 
be left alone in our disgrace, with no one to sym- 
pathize with us, no one to countenance us in our 
course — a course as inconsistent w r ith our profes- 
sions, as it is disgraceful, and odious, and wicked 
in itself. 

Come, then, men of Pennsylvania, citizens of 
the same state as Franklin, and Rush, and Wilson, 
and the Morrises, who thought as we think, and 
who, were they now living, would doubtless act as 
we are now acting,— come and join us in this good 
w r ork. Join us, to use such moral means as to 
correct public sentiment throughout the region 
where slavery exists, and to impress upon the 
people of the Free states a manly sense of their 
own rights. Join us, to place " just men " in all 
our public offices ; men whose example a whole 
people may safely imitate. Join us, to free our 
General Government from the ignominious re- 
proach of slavery 5 to restore to our country those 
principles which our fathers so laboured to esta- 
blish ; and to hand these principles down afresh to 
successive generations. It is the cause of truth, of 
humanity, and of God, to which we invite your 
aid. It is a cause of which you never need be 


ashamed. Living, you may be thankful, and 
dying, you may be thankful, for having labored in 
it. We have, as co-laborers with us, the noblest 
allies that man can wish. Within, we have the 
deepest convictions of conscience; the clearest 
deductions of reason ; and, all over the world, 
wherever man is found, the first, the most ardent 
longings of the human soul. Without, we have 
the happiness of nearly three millions of the 
human race ; the honor, as well as the best in- 
terests of our whole country ; and the universal 
consent of all good men, whose moral vision is 
not obscured by the mists of a low, misguided 
selfishness : while we seem to hear, as it were, the 
voices of the great and the good, the patriot and 
the philanthropist, of a past generation, calling to 
us, and cheering us on. But, above all these, 
and beyond all these, we have with us the highest 
attributes of God, JUSTICE and MERCY. 
With such allies, and in such a cause, who can 
doubt on which side the victory will ultimately 

May He who guides the destinies of nations, 
and without whose aid " they labor in vain that 
build," so incline your hearts to exert your whole 
influence to place in all our public offices just and 
good men, that our country may be preserved, 
her best interests advanced, and her institutions, 
free in reality as in name, handed down to the 
latest posterity. 


Signed on behalf of the Eastern State Com- 
mittee; and by their direction, 

Charles Dexter Cleveland, 


Approved by the Western State Committee, 
Russell Errett, Chairman. 



S soon as the following Address ap- 
peared, I was struck, as indeed all who 
read it were, with its great eloquence 
and power; but I felt that its in- 
fluence would be, comparatively, very much limited 
in consequence both of the form and of the mediums in 
which it appeared,— in solid columns, and in two or 
three anti-slavery papers of but small circulation. I, 
therefore, wrote to the author, asking of him the per- 
mission to divide it into appropriate headings, to add 
statistical notes corroborative of its general statements, 
and to have it stereotyped in a pamphlet form. In 
reply, he gave me full liberty to do with it whatever I 
thought would be best for the great cause we both had 
so much at heart. Accordingly, after making such 
sub-divisions as I thought appropriate, and adding such 
statistical notes as I thought would fully confirm the 
assertions of the Address as to the alarming encroach- 
ments, as well as the baleful influence of the Slave 
power, I was enabled, by the generous contributions of 
a few friends, to have it stereotyped, and to print 
twenty thousand copies. These were soon disposed of; 
and so many were subsequently ordered from different 


parts of the country, that not less than one hundred 
thousand in all were printed and distributed ; it being 
pronounced by many as " decidedly the most efficient 
campaign document the Liberty Party could use." 

Since that time the author has, as is well known, 
risen to high political and judicial distinction. But 
nothing that he has done or written in these positions 
will place him any higher in the estimation of posterity 
than this noble Address, when the time and circumstances 
in which it was written are considered. Had he then 
gone with the so-called " Democratic" party, he might 
soon have filled almost any office of trust or honor he 
might desire. But he chose to come out from it and to 
be separate, preferring truth and righteousness with 
private life, rather than any public elevation based on 
falsehood and wrong. The result has been, that at this 
present time he has awarded to him, by the very best 
people in every part of our land, a confidence in his 
wisdom, ability, and integrity of character exceeded by 
that in no other public man now living. 

C. D, C. 






I would not, of course, thus republish this Address of my 

early college friend without his approbation. Accordingly, 

in the latter part of 1865 I wrote to him on the subject. He 

replied, with characteristic kindness, in favor of my design, 

saying, in substance, that he would like to see the two 

Addresses bound together in print as their authors were in 

friendship. Pressing literary avocations, however, and health 

not the most robust, prevented me from giving my attention 

to the matter at that time. But having come abroad for my 

health in June, 1866, and having now, in the Spring of 1867, 

a little leisure in this great metropolis, I have thought it a 

very favorable opportunity for completing the work so long 


C. D. C. 

London, May, 1867, 





AVING assembled in Convention as 
friends of Constitutional Liberty, who 
believe the practice of slaveholding to 
be inconsistent with the fundamental 
principles of Republicanism, of Religion, and of 
Humanity, we think it our duty to declare frankly 
to you, our fellow citizens, the views which we 
hold, the principles by which we are governed, and 
the objects which we desire, by your co-operation, 
to accomplish. We ask and expect from you a can- 
did and respectful hearing. We are not a band of 
fanatics, as some foolishly imagine, and others slan- 
derously assert, bent on the overthrow of all Govern- 

See note 1 in Appendix. 


merit and all Religion. We are citizens of the United 
States, having our homes in the West and the South- 
west, some in the Slave states, and some in the 
Free, bound to our country by the most endearing 
ties and the most solemn obligations, filled with the 
most ardent desires for her prosperity and glory, 
and resolved, so far as in us lies, to carry forward 
and perfect the great work of individual, social, and 
civil elevation which our fathers nobly began. 


The American Revolution was not a mere political 
accident. It was an inevitable result of a long train 
of causes, all conspiring to make men impatient of 
oppression. It was a necessary battle in the pro- 
gress of the great conflict between Despotism and 
Freedom, between the Aristocratic and the Demo- 
cratic principle. 

Our fathers so regarded it. They claimed for 
themselves no new or peculiar rights: they only 
demanded security in the enjoyment of those rights 
to which, as descendants of Englishmen, they were 
entitled under the Great Charter : to which, as men, 
they were entitled under the grant of the Creator. 
They asserted the equal right of all men to the im- 
munities which they claimed for themselves. It was 
impossible that they should not see and feel the 
gross inconsistency of the practice of slaveholding 
with their avowed political faith. The writings of 
the Revolutionary period afford the amplest evidence 


that they did perceive and feel it. But slavery was 
already in the country, interwoven with domestic 

habits, pecuniary interests, and legal rights. It ex- 
isted under the sanction of the laws of the several 
colonies beyond the reach of the direct legislation 
of Congress. The consequences of an immediate 
affranchisement of the enslaved were, also, generally 
dreaded. Our fathers, therefore, confined them- 
selves to general declarations of the great doctrine 
of equal rights, which lies at the basis of all just 
government ; and without directly interfering with 
the legislation of any particular member of the con- 
federacy, endeavoured to establish the national Go- 
vernment and Policy upon such principles as would 
bring about, at length, the desired result of Uni- 
versal Freedom. 

We solicit your particular attention, fellow citi- 
zens, to this statement. It .has been the practice of 
many to represent the American government as the 
patron and guardian of slavery. Some have even 
dared to say that it was the purpose of the foun- 
ders of the 'government that it should fulfil this 
office. We join issue with all such persons. We 
denounce all such representations as libels upon 
the great men who won and bequeathed to us the 
precious heritage of Free Institutions, We insist 
that from the assembling of the First Congress in 
1774, until its final organization under the existing 
constitution in 1 789, the American Government 
was anti-slavery in its character and policy. 


The importance of this position, and the proba- 
bility that this address will be read by some who 
have not examined it, justify the appropriation of 
some space to the proof of it. 


We therefore invite your attention to a memorable 
act of the First Congress, which assembled in 1774. 
The Non-Importation, Non-Consumption, and Non- 
Exportation Agreement of that illustrious body, 
signed in their individual and representative capa- 
cities, by the delegates of all the represented colo- 
nies, and promulgated to the world as the solemn 
act of United America, contained this remarkable 
clause :— " We will neither import nor purchase 
any slave imported after the first day of December 
next : after which time we will wholly discontinue 
the slave trade, and neither be concerned in it our- 
selves, nor will we hire our vessels or sell our com- 
modities or manufactures to those who may be 
concerned in it." The entire agreement of which 
this clause was part was not, indeed, intended to 
be of perpetual obligation : yet the singularly em- 
phatic phraseology of this part of it manifests clearly 
enough the understanding; of the delegates as to the 
obligation they assumed for themselves and for the 
country. It was, in fact, a deliberate national vow 
and covenant against all traffic in human beings, 
and was so understood by the people at large. Vir- 
ginia proceeded, soon after, to abolish the slave 


trade by a solemn act of legislation, and her exam- 
ple was followed by all or nearly all the States. 


Two years afterwards, the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence was promulgated to the world. In a single 
sentence of this great Act, our fathers imbodied the 
fundamental principles on which they proposed to 
establish the free government of the United States. 
" We hold these truths to be self-evident ; that all 
men are created equal ; that they are endowed by 
their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that 
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of 
happiness." In these words, for the first time in 
the history of the world, w T as the doctrine of the 
inalienable right of every man to life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of happiness, solemnly proclaimed as 


This declaration pledged its authors, and the nation 
which made it its own, by adoption, to eternal hos- 
tility to every form of despotism and oppression. 
With this declaration inscribed upon their banners, 
they went into the war of the Revolution, invoking 
the attestation of the " Supreme Judge of the world" 
to the rectitude of their purposes. 

After a protracted and dubious struggle, the in- 
dependence of the American Republic was at length 
achieved, and the attention of Congress was turned 
to the establishment and extension of free institu- 
tions. Beyond the Alleghany Mountains, then the 


western limit of civilization, stretched a vast terri- 
tory, untrodden except by the savage, but destined, 
in the hope and faith of the patriots of the Revolu- 
tion, to be the seat of mighty states. To this terri- 
tory, during the war just terminated, various States 
had set up conflicting claims : while the Congress 
had urged upon all, the cession of their several pre- 
tensions for the common good. The recommenda- 
tions of Congress prevailed. Among the States 
which signalized their patriotism by the cession of 
claims to Western Territory, Virginia was pre-emi- 
nently distinguished, both by the magnitude of her 
grant and the spirit in which it was made. The 
claim of Virginia comprehended almost all that is 
now Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. She yielded it all, 
almost with no other condition than that the terri- 
tory should be disposed of for the common benefit, 
and finally erected into Republican States. The 
absence of all stipulations in behalf of slavery in 
these cessions, and especially in that of Virginia, 
furnishes strong evidence of the prevalence of anti- 
slavery sentiment at that day. But the action of 
Congress, in relation to the territory thus acquired, 
supplies decisive proof. 


It was in 1787 that Congress promulgated the 
celebrated Ordinance for the Government of the 
Territory north-west of the river Ohio. In this 
ordinance, for the purpose of " extending the fun- 


damental principles of civil and religious liberty \ 
* * to fix and establish those principles as the basis 
of all laws, constitutions, and governments, which 
for ever thereafter should be formed in said terri- 
tory/' Congress established " certain articles of 
compact between the original States and the people 
and States in the territory to remain for ever 
unalterable, unless by common consent." One of 
these articles of compact declared that there should 
be "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in 
the territory, otherwise than in the punishment of 
crimes ;" providing, however, that the right of 
retaking fugitives from service should be preserved 
to the citizens of the original States. This ordi- 
nance was adopted by the unanimous vote of all 
the States, there being but a single individual nega- 
tive, which was given by a member from New 
York. Upon the question of excluding slavery, 
we may fairly assume that there was entire una- 

It seems to us impossible to conceive of a more 
significant indication of National Policy. The 
Congress was about to fix for ever the relation of 
five future States to the question of slavery. 
Under the influence of the liberal opinions of 1776, 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, 
Rhode Island, Vermont and Pennsylvania, had 
already abolished or had taken measures for abo- 
lishing slavery within their limits. It was expected 
that other Atlantic States would follow their 



example. The creation of five non-slaveholding 
States in the West would evidently secure a per- 
manent majority on the side of Freedom against 
Slavery, There was, at that time, no other national 
territory out of which slaveholding States could be 
carved: nor was there any thought of acquiring 
territory with such an object. And yet the votes of 
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, 
South Carolina and Georgia were given, and 
unanimously given, for the positive exclusion of 
slavery from all the vast region now possessed by 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, 
and for the virtual restriction of the right of 
reclaiming fugitive servants to cases of escape from 
the original States. There was very little compro- 
mise here. There was clear, unqualified, decisive 
action in the fulfilment and in renewal of the solemn 
pledge given in 1774, reiterated in 1776, and in 
pursuance of the settled national policy of restrict- 
ing slavery to the original States, and of excluding 
it from all national territory and from all new 

It is to be borne in mind that neither in this 
ordinance, nor in the national acts which preceded 
it, did the Congress undertake to legislate upon the 
actual personal relations of the inhabitants of the 
original States. They sought to impress upon the 
national character and the national policy the stamp 
of Liberty ; but they did not, so far as we can see, 
attempt to interfere with the internal arrangements 


of any State, however inconsistent those arrange- 
ments might be with that character and policy. 
They expected, however, and they had reason to 
expect, that slavery would be excluded from all 
places of national jurisdiction, and that whatever 
in the arrangements of particular States savoured 
of despotism and oppression, and especially that 
the system of slavery, which concentrates in itself 
the whole essence and all the attributes of despotism 
and oppression, would give way before the steady 
action of the national faith and the national policy. 
Such was the state of opinion when the Con- 
vention for framing the Constitution of the United 
States assembled. The ordinance of 1787, which 
was the most significant and decisive expression of 
this opinion, was promulgated while the Constitu- 
tion-Convention was in session. The Constitution, 
therefore, is to be examined with reference to the 
public acts which preceded it, and the prevalent 
popular sentiment. 


And the first thing which arrests the attention of 
the inquirer is the remarkable preamble which is 
prefixed to the operative clauses of the instrument, 
in which the objects to be attained by it are parti- 
cularly enumerated.— These are, " to form a more 
perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic 
tranquillity, provide for the common defence, pro- 
mote the general welfare, and secure the blessings 


of liberty." It would be singular, indeed, if a 
constitution adopted for such objects, and under 
such circumstances, should be found to contain 
guaranties of slavery. We should expect, on the 
contrary, that, although the national government 
created by it, might not be directly authorized to 
act upon the slavery already existing in the States, 
all power to create or continue the system by 
national sanction would be carefully withheld, and 
some safeguards would be provided against its 
further extension. And such, in our judgment, 
was the true effect of the Constitution. We are 
not prepared to deny, on the one hand, that 
several clauses of the instrument were intended to 
refer to slaves ; nor to admit, on the other, all the 
consequences which the friends of slavery would 
deduce from these clauses. We abstain from these 
questions. It is enough for our purpose, that it 
seems clear that neither the framers of the Consti- 
tution, nor the people who adopted it, intended to 
violate the pledges given in the Covenant of 1774, 
in the Declaration of 1776, in the Ordinance of 
1787 ; that they did not purpose to confer on Con- 
gress or the General Government any power to 
establish, or continue, or sanction slavery anywhere; 
that, if they did not intend to authorize direct 
national legislation for the removal of the slavery 
existing in particular States under their local laws, 
they did intend to keep the action of the national 
government free from all connection with the 


system; to discountenance and discourage it in the 
States ; and to favour the abolition of it by State 
authority — a result, then, generally expected ; and, 
finally, to provide against its further extension by 
confining the power to acquire new territory, and 
admit new States to the General Government, the 
line of whose policy was clearly marked out by the 
ordinance and preceding public acts. 

We cannot think that any unprejudiced student 
of the Constitution, examining it in the light of 
precedent action, and contemporary opinion, can 
arrive at any other conclusion than this. No 
amendment of the Constitution would be needed 
to adapt it to the new condition of things, were 
every State in the Union to abolish slavery forth- 
with. There is not a line of the instrument which 
refers to slavery as a national institution, to be 
upheld by national law. On the contrary, every 
clause which ever has been or can be construed as 
referring to slavery, treats it as the creature of 
State law, and dependent wholly upon State law 
for its existence and continuance. So careful were 
the framers of the Constitution to negative all 
implied sanction of slaveholding, that not only were 
the terms " slave/' " slavery," and " slaveholding" 
excluded, but even the word "servitude," which 
was at first inserted to express the condition, under 
the local law, of the persons who were to be 
delivered up, should they escape from one State 
into another, was, on motion of Mr. Randolph of 


Virginia, stricken out, and " service" unanimously 
inserted, " the former being thought to express the 
condition of slaves, and the latter the obligation of 
free persons." 

That such was the general understanding of the 
people will be the more manifest if we extend our 
examination beyond the Constitution as originally 
adopted, to the amendments subsequently incor- 
porated into it. One of these amendments, as 
originally proposed by Virginia, provided that " no 
freeman should be deprived of life, liberty, or pro- 
perty, but by the law of the land/' and was copied, 
substantially, from the English Magna Charta. 
Congress altered the phraseology by inserting, in 
lieu of the words quoted, " no PERSON shall be 
deprived of life, liberty, or property, WITHOUT 
DUE PROCESS OF LAW;" and, thus altered, the 
proposed amendment became part of the Constitu- 
tion. We are aware that it has been held by dis- 
tinguished authority, that the section of the amended 
Constitution, which contains this provision, ope- 
rates as a limitation only on national and not upon 
State legislation. Without controverting this opi- 
nion here, it is enough to say that, at the least, the 
clause prohibits the General Government from 
sanctioning slaveholding, and renders the continu- 
ance of slavery, as a legal relation, in any place of 
exclusive national jurisdiction, impossible. 

For, what is slavery ? * It is the complete and 

* See Note z in Appendix. 


absolute subjection of one person to the control and 
disposal of another person, by legalized force. We 
need not argue that no person can be, rightfully, 
compelled to submit to such control and disposal. 
All such subjection must originate in force ; and, 
private force not being strong enough to accomplish 
the purpose, public force, in the form of law, must 
lend its aid. The Government comes to the help 
of the individual slaveholder, and punishes resist- 
ance to his will, and compels submission. The 
Government, therefore, in the case of every 
individual slave, is the real enslaver, depriv 
ing each person enslaved of all liberty and all pro- 
perty, and all that makes life dear, without imputa- 
tion of crime or any legal process whatsoever. 
This is precisely what the Government of the 
United States is forbidden to do by the Constitu- 
tion. The Government of the United States, there- 
fore, cannot create or continue the relation of master 
and slave. Nor can that relation be created or 
continued in any place, district, or territory, over 
which the jurisdiction of the National Government 
is exclusive ; for slavery cannot subsist a moment 
after the support of the public force has been with- 

We need not go further to prove that slaveholding 
in the States can have no rightful sanction or sup- 
port from national authority, but must depend 
wholly upon State law for existence and con- 


We have thus proved, from the Public Acts of 
the Nation, that, up to the time of the adoption of 
the Constitution, the people of the United States 
were an anti-slavery people ; that the sanction of 
the national approbation was never given, and never 
intended to be given, to slaveholding ; that, on the 
contrary, the Government of the United States was 
expressly forbidden to deprive any person of liberty, 
without due legal process ; and that the policy of 
excluding slavery from all national territory, and 
restricting it within the limits of the original States, 
was early adopted and practically applied. 


Permit us now, fellow citizens, to call your atten- 
tion to the recorded opinions of the Patriots and 
Sages of the Revolutionary Era ; from which you 
will learn that many of them, so far from desiring 
that the General Government should sanction 
slavery or extend its limits, were displeased that it 
was not, in terms, empowered to take action for its 
final extinction in the States, and that almost all 
looked forward to its final removal by State autho- 
rity with expectation and hope. 

The Preamble of the Abolition Act of Pennsyl- 
vania of 1780, exhibits clearly the state of many 
minds. " Weaned," says the General Assembly, 
" by a long course of experience from those narrow 
prejudices and partialities we had imbibed, we 


find our hearts enlarged with kindness and benevo- 
lence towards men of all conditions and nations ; 
and we conceive ourselves, at this particular period, 
extraordinarily called upon by the blessing we 
have received, to manifest the sincerity of our pro- 
fessions and to give a substantial proof of our 
gratitude. " 

The sentiments of Mr. Jefferson are too well 
known to justify large quotations from his writings. 
We invite, however, your attention to two sentences; 
and will observe, in passing, that his opinions were 
shared by almost every Virginian of distinguished 
patriotism or ability. 

In his Notes on Virginia, he said : u I think a 
change already perceptible since the origin of the 
present revolution. The spirit of the master is 
abating, that of the slave is rising from the dust, 
his condition mollifying, the way, I hope, pre- 
paring, under the auspices of Heaven, for a total 
emancipation; and that is disposed, in the order of 
events, to be with the consent of the masters, rather 
than by their extirpation." 

On another occasion he said: " Nobody wishes 
more ardently than I to see an abolition not onlv of 
the trade, but of the condition of slavery ; and cer- 
tainly nobody will be more willing to encounter 
every sacrifice for that object." 

In a letter to John F. Mercer, George Washingf 
ton said: "I never mean, unless some particular 
circumstances should compel me to it^ to possess 


another slave by purchase ; it being among my 
first wishes to see some plan adopted by which 
slavery in this country may be abolished by law." 

In a letter to Sir John Sinclair, assigning rea- 
sons for the depreciation of Southern lands, he said : 
" There are in Pennsylvania laws for the gradual 
abolition of slavery, which neither Virginia nor 
Maryland have at present, but which nothing is 
more certain than that they must have, and at a 
period not remote." * 

General Lee of Virginia, in his " Memoirs on the 
Revolutionary War," remarked, " The Constitution 
of the United States, adopted lately with so much 
difficulty, has effectually provided against this evil, 
(the slave-trade,) after a few years. It is much to 
be lamented, that, having done so much in this way, 
a provision had not been made for the gradual 
abolition of slavery." 

Judge Tucker, of Virginia, in a letter to the 
General Assembly of that State, in 1796, recom- 
mending the abolition of slavery, and speaking of 
the slaves in Virginia, said : " Should we not at the 
time of the Revolution have loosed their chains and 
broken their fetters ? or, if the difficulties and dan- 
gers of such an experiment prohibited the attempt 
during the convulsions of a revolution, is it not our 
duty to embrace the first moment of constitutional 
health and vigour to effectuate so desirable an 

* See Note 3 in Appendix. 


object, and to remove from us a stigma with which 
our enemies will never fail to upbraid us, nor our 
consciences to reproach us ? " 

Luther Martin, of Maryland, left the Convention 
before the Constitution was finally completed. He 
opposed its adoption, and assigned, in his report to 
the Maryland legislature, as a leading reason for 
his opposition, the absence from the instrument of 
express provisions against slavery. He said that, it 
was urged in the Convention, " that by the pro- 
posed system we were giving the General Govern- 
ment full and absolute power to regulate commerce? 
under which general power it would have a right 
to restrain or totally prohibit the slave-trade ; it 
must, therefore, appear to the world absurd and 
disgraceful to the last degree, that we should except 
from the exercise of that power the only branch of 
commerce which is unjustifiable in its nature, and 
contrary to the rights of mankind :— that, on the 
contrary, we ought rather to prohibit expressly in 
our Constitution the further importation of slaves, 
and to authorize the General Government, from 
time to time, to make such regulations as should be 
thought most advantageous for the gradual aboli- 
tion of slavery, and the emancipation of the slaves 
which are already in the States.'' 

James Wilson, of Pennsylvania, signed the Con- 
stitution, taking a very different view of its pro- 
visions, bearing upon slavery, from that of Mr. 
Martin, but agreeing with him entirely as to 


slavery itself. In the Ratification Convention of 
Pennsylvania, speaking of the clause relating to the 
power of Congress over the slave-trade after twenty 
years, he said: "I consider this clause as laying 
the foundation for banishing slavery out of this 
country. It will produce the same kind of gradual 
change which was produced in Pennsylvania : the 
new States, which are to be formed, will be 
under the control of Congress in this particular, 
and slavery will never be introduced 
among them. It presents us with the pleasing 
prospect that the rights of mankind will be acknow- 
ledged and established throughout the Union," 

In the Ratification Convention of Massachusetts, 
Gen. Heath declared that a Slavery was confined 
to the States now existing : it could not be 
extended. By their ordinance Congress had 
declared that the new States should be repub- 
lican, and have no slavery"* 

In the Ratification Convention of North Caror 
lina, Mr, Iredell, afterwards a Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, observed, 
"When the entire abolition of slavery takes place, 
it will be an event which must be pleasing to 
gveiy generous mind and every friend of human 

In the Ratification Convention of Virginia, Mr. 
Johnson said, u The principle of emancipation has 

«.-..., f See Note 4 in Appendix. 


begun since the revolution. Let us do what we 
will, it will come round/ 5 

In the course of the debate in the Congress of 
1789, the first under the Constitution, on a peti- 
tion against the slave-trade, Mr. Parker, of Vir- 
ginia, remarked^, that " he hoped Congress would 
do all that lay in their power to restore human 
nature to its inherent privileges, and, if possible, 
wipe off the stigma which America laboured under, 
The inconsistency in our principles, with which we 
are justly charged, should be done away, that we 
may show by our actions the pure beneficence of 
the doctrine which we held out to the world in our 
Declaration of Independence*" In the same de- 
bate Mr. Brown, of North Carolina, observed, 
" The emancipation of the slaves will be effected in 
time : it ought to be a gradual business ; but he 
hoped Congress would not precipitate it to the 
great injury of the Southern States." And Mr. 
Jackson, of Georgia, complained, " That it was 
the fashion of the day to favour the liberty of 
the slaves." 

These citations might be indefinitely multiplied, 
but we forbear. Well might Mr. Leigh, of Vir- 
ginia, remark, in 1832, " I thought, till Yery 
lately, that it was known to everybody, that 
during the revolution, and for many years after, 
the abolition of slavery was a favourite topic with 
many of our ablest statesmen, who entertained, 
with respect, all the schemes which wisdom or 


ingenuity could suggest for accomplishing the 


Fellow Citizens: The public acts, and the 
recorded opinions of the fathers of the revolution 
are before you. Let us pause here. Let us reflect 
what would have been the condition of the country 
had the original policy of the nation been steadily 
pursued, and contrast what would have been with 
what is. 

At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New 
Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, had become non- 
slaveholding States. By the ordinance of 1787, 
provision had been made for the erection of five 
other non-slaveholding States. The admission of 
Vermont and the District of Maine, as separate 
States, without slavery, was also anticipated. There 
was no doubt that New York and New Jersey 
would follow the example of Pennsylvania. Thus 
it was supposed to be certain that the Union would 
ultimately embrace at least fourteen Free states, and 
that slavery would be excluded from all territory 
thereafter acquired by the nation, and from all 
States created out of such territory. 

This was the true understanding upon which the 
Constitution was adopted. It was never imagined 
that new Slave states were to be admitted ; unless, 

AD DEES S. 95 

perhaps, which seems probable, it was contemplated 
to admit the western districts of Virginia and North 
Carolina, now known as Kentucky and Tennessee, 
as States, without any reference to the slavery 
already established in them. In no event, to which 
our fathers look forward, could the number of Slave 
states exceed eight, while it was almost certain 
that the number of Free states would be at least 
fourteen. It was never supposed that slavery was 
to be a cherished interest of the country, or even a 
permanent institution of any State. It was expected 
that all the States, stimulated by the examples 
before them, and urged by their own avowed prin- 
ciples recorded in the Declaration, would, at no 
distant day, put an end to slavery within their 
respective limits. So strong was this expectation, 
that James Campbell, in an address at Phila- 
delphia, before the Society of the Cincinnati, in 
1787, which was attended by the Constitution 
Convention, then in session, declared, " The time is 
not far distant when our sister States, in imitation 
of our example, shall turn their vassals into free- 
men." And Jonathan Edwards predicted in 1 79 1 , 
that, in fifty years from this time, it will be as dis- 
graceful for a man to hold a negro slave, as to be 
guilty of common robbery or theft. 

It cannot be doubted that, had the original policy 
and original principles of the Government been 
adhered to, this expectation would have been 
realized. The example and influence of the 


General Government would have been on the side 
of freedom. Slavery would have ceased in the 
District of Columbia immediately upon the esta- 
blishment of the Government within its limits. 
Slavery would have disappeared from Louisiana 
and Florida upon the acquisition of those terri- 
tories by the United States. No laws would have 
been enacted, no treaties made, no measures taken 
for the extension or maintenance of slavery. Amid 
the rejoicings of all the free, and the congratula- 
tions of all friends of freedom, the last fetter would, 
ere now, have been stricken from the last slave, 
and the principles and institutions of liberty would 
have pervaded the entire land. 


How different — how sadly different are the facts 
of history ! Luther Martin complained, at 
the time of the adoption of the Constitution, " that 
when our own liberties were at stake, we warmly 
felt for the common rights of men : the danger 
being thought to be passed which threatened our- 
selves, we are daily growing more and more insen- 
sible to those rights." This insensibility continued 
to increase, and prepared the way for the encroach- 
ments of the political Slave power, wdiich originated 
in the three-fifths rule of the Constitution. This 
rule, designed, perhaps, as a censure upon slavery, 
by denying to the Slave states the full representa- 
tion to which their population would entitle them, 


has had a very different practical effect. It has 
virtually established in the country an aristocracy 
of slaveholders. It has conferred on masters the 
right of representation for three-fifths of their slaves. 
The representation from the Slave states in Con- 
gress has always been from one-fifth to one-fourth 
greater than it would have been, were freemen 
only represented.* Under the first apportionment, 
according to this rate, a district in a Free state, 
containing thirty thousand free inhabitants, would 
have one representative. A district in a Slave 
state, containing three thousand free persons and 
forty-five thousand slaves, would also have one. 
In the first district a representative could be elected 
only by the majority of five thousand votes : in 
the other, he would need only the majority of five 
hundred. Of course, the representation from Slave 
states, elected by a much smaller constituency, and 
bound together by a common tie, would generally 
act in concert, and always with special regard to 
the interests of masters whose representatives in 
fact they were. Every aristocracy in the world has 
sustained itself by encroachment, and the aristocracy 
of slaveholders in this country has not been an 
exception to the general truth. The nation has 
always been divided into parties, and the slave- 
holders, by making the protection and advancement 
of their peculiar interests the price of their political 

* See note 5 in Appendix. 


support, have generally succeeded in controlling 
all. This influence has greatly increased the in- 
sensibility to human rights, of which Martin in- 
dignantly complained. It has upheld slavery in 
the District of Columbia and in the Territories, in 
spite of the Constitution : it has added to the Union 
six Slave states created out of national Territories :* 
it has usurped the control of our foreign negotia- 
tion,! and domestic legislation : J it has dictated 
the choice of the high offices of our Government 
at home,§ and of our national representatives 
abroad : || it has filled eYery department of execu- 
tive and judicial administration with its friends and 
satellites :^J it has detained in slavery multitudes 
who are constitutionally entitled to their freedom : 
it has waged unrelenting w T ar with the most sacred 
rights of the free, stifling the freedom of speeches 
and of debate, setting at naught the right of petition, 
and denying in the Slave states those immunities 
to the citizens of the free, which the Constitution 
guarantees : and, finally, it has dictated the 
acquisition of an immense foreign territory, not for 
the laudable purpose of extending the blessings of 
freedom, but with the bad design of diffusing the 

* See note 6 in Appendix, 
f See note 7 in Appendix. 
J See note 8 in Appendix. 
§ See note 9 in Appendix. 
|| See note 10 in Appendix. 
H See note 1 1 in Appendix. 


curse of slavery, and thereby consolidating and 
perpetuating its own ascendancy. 


Against this influence, against these infractions 
of the Constitution, against these departures from 
the national policy originally adopted, against these 
violations of the national faith originally pledged, 
we solemnly protest. Nor do we propose only to 
protest. We recognize the obligations which rest 
upon us as descendants of the men of the revolu- 
tion, as inheritors of the institutions which they 
established, as partakers of the blessings which they 
so dearly purchased, to carry forward and perfect 
their work. We mean to do it, wisely and pru- 
dently, but with energy and decision. We have 
the example of our fathers on our side. We have 
the Constitution of their adoption on our side. It 
is our duty, and our purpose, to rescue the Govern- 
ment from the control of the slaveholders ; to 
harmonize its practical administration with the 
provisions of the Constitution, and to secure to all. 
without exception, and without partiality, the rights 
which the Constitution guarantees. We believe 
that slaveholding, in the United States, is the 
source of numberless evils, moral, social, and 
political ; that it hinders social progress ; that it 
embitters public and private intercourse ; that it 
degrades us as individuals, as States, and as a 
nation ; that it holds back our country from a 


splendid career of greatness and glory. We are, 
therefore, resolutely, inflexibly, at all times, and 
under all circumstances, hostile to its longer con- 
tinuance in our land. We believe that its removal 
can be effected peacefully, constitutionally, without 
real injury to any, with the greatest benefit to all. 


We propose to effect this by repealing all legisla- 
tion, and discontinuing all action, in favor of 
slavery, at home and abroad ; by prohibiting the 
practice of slaveholding in all places of exclusive 
national jurisdiction, in the District of Columbia, 
in American vessels upon the seas, in forts, arsenals, 
navy yards ; by forbidding the employment of 
slaves upon any public work ; by adopting resolu- 
tions in Congress, declaring that slaveholding, in 
all States created out of national territories, is un- 
constitutional, and recommending to the others the 
immediate adoption of measures for its extinction 
within their respective limits; and by electing and 
appointing to public station such men, and only 
such men as openly avow our principles^ and will 
honestly carry out our measures. 

The constitutionality of this line of action cannot 
be successfully impeached. That it will terminate, 
if steadily pursued, in the utter overthrow of sla- 
very at no very distant day none will doubt. We 
adopt it, because we desire, through, and by the 
Constitution, to attain the great ends which the 


Constitution itself proposes, the establishment of 
justice, and the security of liberty. We insist not, 
here, upon the opinions of some, that no slave- 
holding, in any State of the Union, is compatible 
with a true and just construction of the Constitu- 
tion ; nor upon the opinions of others, that the 
Declaration of Independence, setting forth the 
creed of the nation, that all men are created equal, 
and endowed by their Creator with an inalienable 
right of liberty, must be regarded as the common 
law of America, antecedent to, and unimpaired by 
the Constitution ; nor need we appeal to the doc- 
trine that slaveholding is contrary to the supreme 
law of the Supreme Ruler, preceding and con- 
trolling all human law, and binding upon all 
legislatures in the enactment of laws, and upon all 
courts in the administration of justice* We are 
willing to take our stand upon propositions gene- 
rally conceded :— that slaveholding is contrary to 
natural right and justice; that it can subsist 
nowhere without the sanction and aid of positive 
legislation; that the Constitution expressly pro- 
hibits Congress from depriving any person of 
liberty without due process of law. From these 
propositions we deduce, by logical inference, the 
doctrines upon which we insist. We deprecate all 
discord among the States ; but do not dread dis- 
cord so much as we do the subjugation of the 
States and the people to the yoke of the slave- 
holding oligarchy* We deprecate the dissolution 


of the Union as a dreadful political calamity ; but 
if any of the States shall prefer dissolution to sub- 
mission to the Constitutional action of the people 
on the subject of slavery, we cannot purchase their 
alliance by the sacrifice of inestimable rights, and 
the abandonment of sacred duties. 

Such, fellow citizens, are our views, principles, 
and objects.* We invite your co-operation in the 
great work of delivering our beloved country from 
the evils of slavery. No question half so important 
as that of slavery engages the attention of the 
American people. All others, in fact, dwindle into 
insignificance in comparison with it. The question 
of slavery is, and, until it shall be settled, must be, 
the paramount moral and political question of the 
day. We, at least, so regard it ; and, so regarding 
it, must subordinate every other question to it. 

It follows, as a necessary consequence, that we 
cannot yield our political support to any party 
which does not take our ground upon this question. 


I. The Democratic Party. 
What, then, is the position of the political parties 
of the country in relation to this subject ? One of 
these parties professes to be guided by the most 
liberal principles. u Equal and exact justice to all 
men;" "equal rights for all men;" " inflexible 

* See note 12 in Appendix. 


opposition to oppression/' are its favourite mottoes. 
It claims to be the true friend of popular govern- 
ment, and assumes the name of Democratic. 
Among its members are, doubtless, many who 
cherish its professions as sacred principles, and 
believe that great cause of Freedom and Progress 
is to be served by promoting its ascendancy. But 
when we compare the maxims of the so-called 
Democratic party with its acts, its hypocrisy is 
plainly revealed. Among its leading members we 
find the principal slaveholders the chiefs of the 
oligarchy. It has never scrupled to sacrifice the 
rights of the Free states, or of the people, to the 
demands of the Slave power. Like Sir Pertinax 
McSycophant, its northern leaders believe that the 
great secret of advancement lies in " bowing well.' y 
No servility seems too gross, no self-degradation 
too great, to be submitted to.* They think them- 
selves well rewarded, if the unity of the party be 
preserved, and the spoils of victory secured. If, 
in the distribution of these spoils, they receive only 
the jackall's share, they content themselves with 
the reflection that little is better than nothing. 
They declaim loudly against all monopolies, all 
special privileges, all encroachments on personal 
rights, all distinctions founded upon birth, and 
compensate themselves for these efforts of virtue, 
by practising the vilest oppression upon all their 

* See note 1 3 in Appendix. 


countrymen, in whose complexions the slightest 
trace of African derivation can be detected. 

Profoundly do we revere the maxims of true 
Democracy ; they are identical with those of true 
Christianity, in relation to the rights and duties of 
men as citizens. And our reverence for Demo- 
cratic principles is the precise measure of our 
detestation of the policy of those who are permitted 
to shape the action of the Democratic party. 
Political concert with that party, under its present 
leadership, is, therefore, plainly impossible. Nor 
do we entertain the hope, which many, no doubt, 
honestly cherish, that the professed principles of 
the party will, at length, bring it right upon the 
question of slavery. Its professed principles have 
been the same for nearly half a century, and yet 
the subjection of the party to the Slave power is, 
at this moment, as complete as ever. There is no 
prospect of any change for the better, until those 
democrats whose hearts are really possessed by a 
generous love of liberty for all, and by an honest 
hatred of oppression, shall manfully assert their 
individual independence, and refuse their support 
to the panders of slavery. 

2. The Whig Party, 

There is another party which boasts that it is 
conservative in its character. Its watchwords are 
" a tariff," " a banking system/' u the Union as it 
is." Among its members^ also 5 are many sincere 


opponents of slavery ; and the party itself, seeking 
aid in the attainment of power, and anxious to 
carry its favorite measures, and bound together by 
no such professed principles as secure the unity of 
the Democratic party, often concedes much to 
their anti-slavery views. It is not unwilling, in 
those States and parts of States where anti-slavery 
sentiment prevails, to assume an anti-slavery atti- 
tude, and claim to be an anti-slavery party. Like 
the Democratic party, however, the Whig party 
maintains alliances with the slaveholders. It pro- 
poses, in its national conventions, no action against 
slavery. It has no anti-slavery article in its 
national creed. Among its leaders and champions 
in Congress, and out of Congress, none are so 
honored and trusted as slaveholders in practice and 
in principle. Whatever the Whig party, therefore, 
concedes to anti-slavery, must be reluctantly con- 
ceded. Its natural position is conservative. Its 
natural line of action is to maintain things as they 
are. Its natural bond of union is regard for 
interests rather than for rights. There are, 
doubtless, zealous opponents of slavery, who are 
also zealous Whigs ; but they have not the general 
confidence of their party; they are under the ban 
of the slaveholders ; and in any practical anti- 
slavery movement, as, for example, the repeal of 
the laws which sanction slaveholding in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia, would meet the determined 
opposition of a large and most influential section 


of the party, not because the people of the Free 
states would be opposed to the measure, but 
because it would be displeasing to the oligarchy 
and fatal to party unity. We are constrained to 
think, therefore, that all expectation of efficient 
anti-slavery action from the Whig party, as now 
organized, will prove delusive. Nor do we per- 
ceive any probability of a change in its organiza- 
tion, separating its anti-slavery from its pro-slavery 
constituents, and leaving the former in possession 
of the name and influence of the party. With the 
Whig party, therefore, as at present organized, it 
is as impossible for us, whose mottoes are " Equal 
Rights and Fair Wages for all," and "the Union 
as it should be," to act in alliance and concert, as 
it is for us so to act with the so-called Democratic 
party. We cannot choose between these parties 
for the sake of any local or partial advantage, 
without sacrificing consistency, self-respect, and 
mutual confidence. While we say this, we are 
bound to add, that were either of these parties to 
disappoint our expectations, and to adopt into its 
national creed as its leading articles, the principles 
which we regard as fundamental, and enter upon 
a course of unfeigned and earnest action against 
the system of slavery, we should not hesitate, 
regarding, as we do, the question of slavery as 
the paramount question of our day and nation, to 
give to it our cordial and vigorous support, until 
slavery should be no more. 


With what party, then, shall we act ? Or shall 
we act with none? Act, in some way, we must: 
for the possession of the right of suffrage, the right 
of electing our own law-makers and rulers, imposes 
upon us the corresponding duty of voting for men 
who will carry out the views which we deem of 
paramount importance and obligation. Act together 
we must ; for upon the questions which we regard 
as the most vital we are fully agreed. We must 
act then ; act together ; and act against slavery and 
oppression. Acting thus, we necessarily act as a 
party ; for what is a party, but a body of citizens, 
acting together politically, in good faith, upon 
common principles, for a common object ? And if 
there be a party already in existence, animated by 
the same motives, and aiming at the same results 
as ourselves, we must act with and in that party. 


That there is such a party is well known. It is 
the Liberty party of the United States. Its prin- 
ciples, measures, and objects we cordially approve. 
It founds itself upon the great cardinal principle of 
true Democracy and of true Christianity, the 
brotherhood of the Human Family. It avows its 
purpose to wage implacable war against slaveholding 
as the direst form of oppression, and then against 
every other species of tyranny and injustice. Its 
views on the subject of slavery in this country are, 
in the main, the same as those which we have set 


forth in this address. Its members agree to regard 
the extinction of slavery as the most important end 
which can, at this time, be proposed to political 
action ; and they agree to differ as to other ques- 
tions of minor importance, such as those of trade 
and currency, believing that these can be satisfac- 
torily disposed of, when the question of slavery 
shall be settled, and that, until then, they cannot 
be satisfactorily disposed of at all. 

The rise of such a party as this was anticipated 
long before its actual organization, by the single- 
hearted and patriotic Charles Follen, a German by 
birth, but a true American by adoption and in 
spirit. a If there ever is to be in this country," he 
said in 1836, "a party that shall take its name and 
character, not from particular liberal measures or 
popular men, bat from its uncompromising and 
consistent adherence to freedom — a truly liberal 
and thoroughly republican party, it must direct its 
first decided effort against the grossest form, the 
most complete manifestation of oppression ; and, 
having taken anti-slavery ground, it must carry out 
the principle of Liberty in all its consequences. It 
must support every measure conducive to the 
greatest possible individual and social, moral, intel- 
lectual, religious, and political freedom, whether 
that measure be brought forward by inconsistent 
slaveholders or consistent freemen. It must em- 
brace the whole sphere of human action ; watching 
and opposing the slightest illiberal and anti-repub- 


lican tendency, and concentrating its whole force 
and influence against slavery itself, in comparison 
with which every other species of tyranny is tole- 
rable, and by which every other is strengthened 
and justified. 79 

Thus wrote Charles Follen in 1836. It is im- 
possible to express better the want which enlight- 
ened lovers of liberty felt of a real Democratic 
party in the country — Democratic not in name 
only, but in deed and in truth. In this want, thus 
felt, the Liberty party had its origin,* and so long 
as this want remains otherwise unsatisfied, the 
Liberty party must exist ; not as a mere Abolition 
party, but as a truly Democratic party, which aims 
at the extinction of slavery, because slaveholding is 
inconsistent with Democratic principles ; aims at 
it, not as an ultimate end, but as the most impor- 
tant present object ; as a great and necessary step 
in the work of reform ; as an illustrious era in the 
advancement of society, to be wrought out by its 
action and instrumentality. The Liberty party of 
1845 is, in truth, the Liberty party of 1776 re- 
vived. It is more : It is the party of Advancement 
and Freedom, which has, in every age, and with 
varying success, fought the battles of Human 
Liberty, against the party of False Conservatism 
and Slavery. 

* See Xote 14 in Appendix, 



And now, fellow citizens, permit us to ask, whether 
you will not give to this party the aid of your 
votes, and of your counsels ? Its aims are lofty, 
and noble, and pacific ; its means are simple and 
unobjectionable. Why should it not have your 
co-operation ? 


Are you already anti-slavery men ? Let us ask, 
is it not far better to act with those with whom you 
agree on the fundamental point of slavery, and 
swell the vote and augment the moral force of anti- 
slavery, rather than to act with those with whom 
you agree only on minor points ; and thus, for the 
time, swell a vote and augment an influence which 
must be counted against the Liberty movement, in 
the vain hope that those with whom you thus act 
now, will, at some indefinite future period, act with 
you for the overthrow of slavery ? There are, per- 
haps, nearly equal numbers of you in each of the 
pro-slavery parties, honestly opposed to each other 
on questions of trade, currency, and extension of 
territory, but of one mind on the great question of 
slavery ; and yet you suffer yourselves to be played 
off against each other by parties which agree in 
nothing except hostility to the great measure of 
positive action against slavery, which seems to you, 
and is, of paramount importance. What can' you 
gain by this course ? What may you not gain by 


laying your minor difference on the altar of duty, 
and uniting as one man, in one party, against 
slavery ? Then every vote would tell for freedom, 
and would encourage the friends of liberty to fresh 
efforts. Now every vote, whether you intend it so 
or not, tells for slavery, and operates as a discou- 
ragement and hindrance to those who are con- 
tending for equal rights. Let us entreat you not 
to persevere in your suicidal, fratricidal course ; but 
to renounce at once all pro-slavery alliances, and 
join the friends of liberty. It is not the question 
now whether a Liberty party shall be organized ; it 
is organized and in the field. The real question, 
and the only real question, is : Will you, so far as 
your votes and influence go, hasten or retard the 
day of its triumph ? 


Are you men of the Free states ? And have you 
not suffered enough of wrong, of insult, and of 
contumely, from the slaveholding oligarchy ? * 
Have you not been taxed enough for the support 
of slavery ? f Is it not enough that all the powers 
of the government are exerted for its maintenance,]; 
and that all the Departments of the Government 
are in the hands of the Slave power ? How long 

* See Note 15 in Appendix. 
f See Note 16 in Appendix. 
J See Note 17 in Appendix. 


will you consent by your votes to maintain slavery 
at the seat of the National Government, in viola- 
tion of the Constitution of your country, and thus 
give your direct sanction to the whole dreadful 
system ? How long will you consent to be repre- 
sented in the National Councils by men who will 
not dare to assert their own rights or yours in the 
presence of an arrogant aristocracy ; and, in your 
State Legislatures, by men whose utmost height of 
courage and manly daring? when your citizens are 
imprisoned, without allegation of crime, in Slave 
states, and your agents, sent for their relief, are 
driven out, as you would scourge from your pre- 
mises an intrusive cur, is to protest and submit? 
Rouse up, men of the Free states, for shame, if 
not for duty ! Awake to a sense of your degraded 
position. Behold your President, a slaveholder; 
his cabinet composed of slaveholders or their abject 
instruments ; the two Houses of Congress submis- 
sive and servile ; your representatives with foreign 
nations, most of them slaveholders ; your supreme 
administrators of justice, most of them slaveholders; 
your officers of the army and navy, most of them 
slaveholders.* Observe the results. What nume- 
rous appointments of pro-slavery citizens of Slave 
states to national employments ! What careful 
exclusion of every man who holds the faith of 
Jefferson and Washington in respect to slavery, 

* See Note 18 in Appendix. 

ADD BESS. 113 

and believes with Madison " that it is wrong to 
admit in the Constitution the idea of property in 
man/' from national offices of honor and trust ! * 
What assiduity in negotiations for the reclamation 
of slaves, cast, in the Providence of God, on foreign 
shores,f and for the extension of the markets of 
cotton, and rice, and tobacco, ay, and of men ! 
What zeal on the judicial bench in wresting the 
Constitution and the law to the purposes of slave- 
holders, by shielding kidnappers from merited 
punishment, and paralyzing State legislation for 
the security of personal liberty ! What readiness 
in legislation to serve the interests of the oligarchy 
by unconstitutional provisions for the recovery of 
fugitive slaves, and by laying heavy duties on 
slave-labor products, thereby compelling non- 
slaveholding laborers to support slaveholders in 
idleness and luxury ! When shall these things 
have an end ? How long shall servile endurance 
be protracted ? It is for you, fellow citizens, to 
determine. The shameful partiality to slaveholders 
and slavery which has so long prevailed, and now 
prevails, in the administration of the government, 
will cease when you determine that it shall cease, 
and act accordingly,, 

* See Note 19 in Appendix. 

f See Note 20 in Appendix. 





Are you non- slaveholders of the Slave states? 
Let us ask you to consider what interest you have 
in the system of slavery. What benefits does it 
confer on you? What blessings does it promise to 
your children ? You constitute the vast majority 
of the population of the Slave states. The aggre- 
gate votes of all the slaveholders do not exceed one 
hundred and fifty thousand, while the votes of the 
non-slaveholders are at least six hundred thousand, 
supposing each adult male to possess a vote. It is 
clear, therefore, that the continuance of slavery 
depends upon your suffrages. We repeat, what 
interest have you in supporting the system ? 


Slavery diminishes your population and hinders 
your prosperity. Compare New York with Vir- 
ginia, Ohio with Kentucky, Arkansas with 
Michigan, Florida with Iowa. Need we say 
more ? * 

It prevents general education. It is not the in- 
terest of slaveholders that poor non-slaveholders 
should be educated. The census of 1840 reveals 
the astounding facts that more than one-seventeenth 

See Note 21 in Appendix. 


of the white population in the Slave states are 
unable to read or write, while not a hundred and 
fiftieth part of the same class in the Free are in the 
same condition, and that there are more than twelve 
times as many scholars at public charge in the Free 
states as in the Slave states.* 

It paralyzes your industry and enterprise„ The 
census of 1840 also disclosed the fact that the Free 
states, with two millions and a quarter inhabitants 
more 5 and ninety -eight millions acres less than the 
Slave states, produce annually, in value, from 
mines, thirty-three millions dollars more ; from the 
forests, eight millions dollars more ; from fisheries, 
nine millions dollars more ; from agriculture, forty 
millions dollars more ; from manufactures^ one 
hundred and fifty-one millions dollars more. At 
the same time, the capital invested in commerce by 
the Free states exceeds the capital similarly in- 
vested in the Slave states by more than one hun- 
dred millions of dollars ; and the tonnage of the 
former exceeds the tonnage of the latter by more 
than a thousand millions tons ! This enormous 
disparity, which will strike attention the more 
forcibly when it is considered that much of the 
capital employed in the Slave states is owned in 
the Free, can be ascribed to no cause except 
slavery, f 

* See Note 22 in Appendix. 
f See Note 23 in Appendix. 


It degrades and dishonors labor. In what 
country did an aristocracy ever care for the poor ? 
When did slaveholders ever attempt to improve the 
condition of the free laborer ? " White negroes'' 
is the contemptuous term by which Robert Wick- 
liffe, of Kentucky, designated the free laborers of 
his State. He saw no distinction between them 
and slaves, except that the former may be converted 
into voters. Chancellor Harper, of South Caro- 
lina, teaches that, u so far as the mere laborer has 
the pride, the knowledge or the aspiration of a 
freeman, he is unfitted for his situation." And he 
likens the laborer " to the horse or the ox," to 
whom it would be ridiculous to attempt to impart 
" a cultivated understanding or fine feeling." 
Governor McDuflle, in a message to the legislature 
of South Carolina, went so far as to say that " the 
institution of domestic slavery supersedes the neces- 
sity of an order of nobility, and the other appen- 
dages of an hereditary system of government." Of 
course the slaveholders are the noble, and you, the 
non-slaveholders, are the ignoble, of this social 

Slavery corrupts the religion and destroys the 
morals of a community. We need not repeat Jef- 
ferson's strong testimony. In a message to the 
legislature of Kentucky, some years since, the 
Governor said, " We long to see the day when the 
law will assert its majesty, and stop the wanton 
destruction of life which almost daily occurs within 


the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth." And the 
Governor of Alabama, in a message to the legisla- 
ture of that State, said, " Why do we hear of stab- 
bings and shootings, almost daily, in some part or 
other of our State ? " A Judge in New Orleans, 
in an address on the opening of his court, observed, 
" Without some powerful and certain remedy our 
streets will become butcheries, overflowing with the 
blood of our citizens." These terrible pictures are 
drawn by home pencils. Can communities prosper 
when religion and morality furnish no stronger 
restraints on violence and passion ?* 

Slavery is a source of most deplorable weakness. 
What a panic is spread by the bare suggestion of a 
servile insurrection ! And how completely are the 
slaveholding States at the mercy of any invading 
foe who will raise the standard of emancipation ! 
In the revolutionary war, according to the secret 
journals of Congress, South Carolina was u unable 
to make any effectual efforts with militia, by reason 
of the great proportion of citizens necessary to 
remain at home to prevent insurrection among the 
negroes, and to prevent the desertion of them to the 
enemy." We need not say that if the danger of 
insurrection was then great, it would be, circum- 
stances being similar, tenfold greater now.f 

* See Note 24 in Appendix. 
f See Note 25 in Appendix, 


Slavery seeks to deprive non-slaveholders of 
political power. In Virginia and South Carolina 
especially, has this policy been most steadily and 
successfully pursued. In South Carolina the 
political power of the State is lodged in the great 
slaveholding districts by the Constitution, and to 
make assurance doubly sure, it is provided, in that 
instrument, that no person can be a member of the 
legislature unless he owns five hundred acres of 
land and ten slaves, or an equivalent in additional 
land. The right of voting for electors of President 
and Vice-President is, in South Carolina, confined 
to members of the legislature ; consequently, in 
that State no non-slaveholder can have a voice in 
the selection of the first and second officers of the 
Republic. In Virginia the slave population is 
considered the basis of political power, and the 
preponderance of representation is given to those 
districts in which there is the largest slave popula- 
tion. The House of Representatives consists of 
one hundred and thirty-four members, of whom 
fifty-six are chosen by the counties west of the 
Blue Ridge, and seventy-eight by the counties 
east. The Senate consists of thirty-two members, 
of whom thirteen are assigned to the western, and 
nineteen to the eastern counties. Already the free 
white population west of the Blue Ridge exceeds 
the same class east in number, but no change in the 
population can affect this distribution of political 
power, designed to secure and preserve the ascen- 


dancy of the slaveholders, who chiefly reside east 
of the Ridge, so long as the Constitution remains 


These, non-slaveholders of the Slave states, are 
the fruits of slavery. You surely can have no 
reason to love a system which entails such conse- 
quences. Yet it lives by your sufferance. You 
have only to speak the word at the ballot-box, and 
the system falls.* Will you be restrained from 
speaking that word by the consideration that the 
enslaved will be benefited as well as yourselves ? 
or by the selfish expectation that you may your- 
selves become slaveholders hereafter, and so be 
admitted into the ranks of the aristocracy? If 
such considerations withhold you, w r e bid you 
beware lest you prepare a bitter retribution for 
yourselves, and find, to your mortification and 
shame, that a patent of nobility, written in the 
tears and - blood of the oppressed, is a sorry pass- 
port to the approbation of mankind. 


We would appeal, also, to slaveholders themselves. 
We would enter at once within the lines of selfish 
ideas and mercenary motives, and appeal to your 

consciences and your hearts. You know that the 

* See Note 26 in Appendix. 


system of slaveholding is wrong. Whatever theo- 
logians may teach and cite Scripture for, you know 
— all of you who claim freedom for yourselves and 
your children as a birthright precious beyond all 
price, and inalienable as life — that no person can 
rightfully hold another as a slave. Your courts, 
in their judicial decisions, and your books of 
common law in their elementary lessons, rise far 
above the precepts of most of your religious 
teachers, and declare all slaveholding to be against 
natural right. You feel it to be so. God has so 
made the human heart, that, in spite of all theo- 
logical sophistry and pretended Scripture proofs, 
you cannot help feeling it to be so. There is a 
law of sublimer origin and more awful sanction 
than any human code, written, in ineffaceable cha- 
racters, upon every heart of man, which binds all 
to do unto others as they would that others should 
do unto them. And where is there one of all your 
number who would exchange conditions with the 
happiest of all your slaves ? Produce the man ! 
And until he is produced, let theological apologists 
for slaveholding keep silence. Most earnestly 
would we entreat you to listen to the voice of 
conscience and obey the promptings of humanity. 
We are not your enemies., We do not pretend to 
any superior virtue ; or that we, being in your 
circumstances, would be likely to act differently 
from you. But we are all fellow citizens of the 
same great Republic. We feel slaveholding to be a 


dreadful incubus upon us, dishonoring us in the 
eyes of foreign nations ; nullifying the force of our 
example of free institutions ; holding us back from 
a glorious career of prosperity and renown ; 
sowing broadcast the seeds of discord, division , 
disunion : and we are anxious for its extinction. 
With Jefferson, we tremble for our country, when 
we " remember that God is just, and that his 
justice cannot sleep for ever." With Washington, 
we believe " that there is but one proper and 
effectual mode by which the extinction of slavery 
can be accomplished^ and that is, by legislative 
authority ; and this, so far as our suffrages will go, 
shall not be wanting." 

We would not invade the Constitution ; but we 
would have the Constitution rightly construed and 
administered according to its true sense and spirit. 
We would not dictate the mode in which slavery 
shall be attacked in particular States ; but we 
would have it removed at once from all places 
under the exclusive jurisdiction of the National 
Government, and also, have immediate measures 
taken, in accordance with constitutional rights and 
the principles of justice, for its removal from each 
State by State authority, In this work we ask 
your co-operation. Shall we ask in vain? Are 
you not convinced that the almost absolute mono- 
poly of the offices and the patronage of the govern- 
ment, and the almost exclusive control of its 
legislation and executive and judicial administra- 


tion, by slaveholders, and for the purposes of 
slavery, is unjust to the non-slaveholders of the 
country ? * Can you blame us for saying that we 
will no longer sanction it ? Are you not satisfied, 
to use the language of one of your own number, 
u that slavery is a cancer, a slow consuming cancer, 
a withering pestilence, an unmitigated curse ? " 
And can you wonder that we should be anxious, 
by all just, and honorable, and constitutional 
means, to effect its extinction in our respective 
States, and to confine it to its constitutional 
limits? Are you not fully aware that the gross 
inconsistency of slaveholding with our professed 
principles astonishes the world, and makes the 
name of our country a mock, and the name of 
liberty a by- word ? And can you regret that we 
should exert ourselves to the utmost to redeem 
our glorious land and her institutions from just 
reproach, and, by illustrious acts of mercy and 
justice, place ourselves, once more, in the van of 
Human Progress and Advancement ? 

to all friends of liberty, and of our 

country's best interests. 

Finally, we ask all true friends of liberty, of 
impartial, universal liberty, to be firm and stead- 
fast. The little handful of voters, who, in 1840, 
wearied of compromising expediency, and despair- 

* See Note 27 in Appendix. 


ing of anti-slavery action by pro-slavery parties., 
raised anew the standard of the Declaration, and 
manfully resolved to vote right then and vote for 
freedom, has already swelled to a Great Party, 
strong enough, numerically, to decide the issue of 
any national contest, and stronger far in the power 
of its pure and elevating principles. And if these 
principles be sound, which we doubt not, and if 
the question of slavery be, as we verily believe it 
is, the great question of our day and nation, it 
is a libel upon the intelligence, the patriotism, and 
the virtue of the American people to say that 
there is no hope that a majority will not array 
themselves under our banner. Let it not be said 
that we are factious or impracticable. We adhere 
to our views because we believe them to be sound, 
practicable, and vitally important. We have 
already said that we are ready to prove our devo- 
tion to our principles by co-operation with either 
of the other two great American Parties, which 
will openly and honestly, in State and National 
Conventions, avow our doctrines and adopt our 
measures, until slavery shall be overthrown. We 
do not, indeed, expect any such adoption and 
avowal by either of those parties, because we are 
well aware that they fear more, at present, from 
the loss of slaveholding support than from the 
loss of anti-slavery co-operation. But we can be 
satisfied with nothing less, for we will compromise 
no longer; and, therefore, must of necessity 


maintain our separate organization as the true 
Democratic Party of the country, and trust our 
cause to the patronage of the people and the bless- 
ing of God ! 

Carry then, friends of freedom and free labor, 
your principles to the ballot-box. Let no difficul- 
ties discourage, no dangers daunt ? no delays 
dishearten you. Your solemn vow that slavery 
must perish is registered in heaven. Renew that 
vow ! Think of the martyrs of truth and freedom ; 
think of the millions of the enslaved ; think of the 
other millions of the oppressed and degraded free ; 
and renew that vow ! Be not tempted from the 
path of political duty. Vote for no man, act with 
no party politically coonected with the supporters 
of slavery. Vote for no man, act with no party 
unwilling to adopt and carry out the principles 
which we have set forth in this address. To 
compromise for any partial or temporary advan- 
tage is ruin to our cause. To act with any party, 
or to vote for the candidates of any party, which 
recognizes the friends and supporters' of slavery as 
members in full standing, because in particular 
places or under particular circumstances, it may 
make large professions of anti-slavery zeal^ is to 
commit political suicide. Unswerving fidelity to 
our principles ; unalterable determination to carry 
those principles to the ballot-box at every election ; 
inflexible and unanimous support of those, and 


only those, who are true to those principles, are 
the conditions of our ultimate triumph. Let these 
conditions be fulfilled, and our triumph is certain. 
The indications of its coming multiply on every 
hand. The clarion trump of freedom breaks 
already the gloomy silence of slavery in Kentucky, 
and its echoes are heard throughout the land. A 
spirit of inquiry and of action is awakened every- 
where. The assemblage of the convention, whose 
voice we utter, is itself an auspicious omen. 
Gathered from the North and the South, and the 
East and West, we here unite our counsels, and 
consolidate our action. We are resolved to go 
forward, knowing that our cause is just, trusting 
in God. We ask you to go forward with us, 
invoking His blessing who sent His Son to redeem 
mankind. With Him are the issues of all events, 
He can and He will disappoint all the devices of 
oppression. He can, and we trust He will, make 
our instrumentality efficient for the redemption 
of our land from slavery, and for the fulfilment of 
our fathers' pledge in behalf of freedom, before 
Him and before the world.* 

* See Note 28 in Appendix* 





V *\ 


HESE are precisely the same notes that 
were appended to the Cincinnati Address 
in 1 845. But could similar notes, sta- 
tistical and historical, be brought down 
to i860, including accounts of the passage of the 
"Compromise Measures;'* of the infamous "Fugitive 
Slave Law ;" of the " lynchings " and murders of 
northern citizens in the Slave states ; of the burnings 
of negroes ; of the massacres of the peaceful settlers 
in Kansas, &c., &c, they would present a picture of 
horrible barbarities ^hardly paralleled on the page of 

Note No. I. 

The Southern and Western Liberty Convention, held 
at Cincinnati, on the nth and 12th June, 1845, was 
the most remarkable An ti- Slavery body yet assembled 
in the United States. The call embraced all those who 
were resolved to act against Slavery, by speech, by the 
pen, by the press, and by the ballot. It was not there- 
fore exclusively a Convention of the Liberty party ; and 
accordingly not a few were in attendance who had not 
acted with that party. The whole number present, as 


Delegates, was about two thousand — from the States of 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan ; from the Terri- 
tories of Wisconsin and Iowa ; from Western Pennsyl- 
vania, and Western Virginia, and from Kentucky. 
Deputations were also present from Massachusetts, 
New York and Rhode Island ; and the whole assembly, 
including spectators, varied during the sittings from 
two thousand five hundred, to four thousand persons. 
Letters were received from Samuel Fessenden and 
Samuel H. Pond, Me., Titus Hutchinson, Vt., Elihu 
Burritt and H. B. Stanton, and Phineas Crandell, Mass. ; 
Wm. Jay, Wm. H. Seward, Gerrit Smith, Horace 
Greeley, Wm. Goodell, Lewis Tappan, New York; C. D. 
Cleveland, F. Julius Lemoyne, Thomas Earle, Pennsyl- 
vania; F.I). Parish, Ohio; Cassius M. Clay, Lexington, 
Ky., and John Gilmore, Virginia. The Chairman of 
the Committee which reported this able address, and 
by whom it was written, was S. P. Chase, Esq., of 

Note No. II. 

" A slave is one who is in the power of his master, 
to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dis- 
pose of his person, his industry, and his labor : he 
can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire anything 
but what must belong to his master." — Law of 

" Slaves shall always be reputed and considered real 
estate ; shall be, as such, subject to be mortgaged^ 
according to the rules prescribed by law, and they 
shall be seized and sold as real estate." — Law of 


" Penalty for any slave, or free colored person, 
exercising the functions of a minister of the gospel, 
thirty-nine lashes." "Penalty for teaching a slave 
to read, imprisonment one year." " Every negro, or 
mulatto, found in the State, not able to show himself 
entitled to freedom, may be sold as a slave." — Laws of 

" For attempting to teach any free colored person, 
or slave, to spell, read or write, a fine of not less than 
two hundred and fifty, nor more than five hundred 
dollars."— Law of Alabama. 

" Any person who sees more than seven slaves with- 
out any white person, in a high road, may whip each 
slave twenty lashes." " Every colored person is pre- 
sumed to be a slave, unless he can prove himself free." 
'—Laws of Georgia. 

" Slaves shall be deemed sold, taken, reputed, and 
adjudged, in law, to be chattels personal in the hands 
of their owners and possessors, and their executors, 
administrators, and assigns, to all intents, construc- 
tions, anb purposes whatever." " Whereas, many 
owners of slaves, and others, that have the manage- 
ment of them, do confine them so closely to hard 
labor, that they have not sufficient time for natural 
rest, be it enacted that no slave shall be compelled to 
labor more than fifteen hours in the twenty -four, 
from March 25 to September 25, or fourteen for the 
rest of the year." " Penalty for killing a slave in a 
sudden heat of passion, or by undue correction, a fine 
of five hundred dollars, and imprisonment not over six 
months !" — Laws of South Carolina. 

" In the trial of slaves, the Sheriff chooses the Court, 


which must consist of three Justices and twelve slave- 
holders, to serve as jurors." — -Law of Tennessee. 

"Any emancipated slave remaining in the State 
more than a year, may be sold by the overseers of the 
poor, for the benefit of the literary fund." "Any slave, 
or free colored person, found at any school for teach- 
ing reading or writing, by day or night, may be 
whipped, at the discretion of a Justice, not exceeding 
twenty lashes." " Any white person assembling with 
slaves, for the purpose of teaching them to read or 
write, shall be fined not less than ten, nor more than 
a hundred dollars." — Laws of Virginia. By the revised 
code of this State, seventy-one offences are punished 
with death, when committed by slaves, and by nothing 
more than imprisonment when by whites. 

"Any slave convicted of petty treason, murder or 
wilful burning of dwelling-houses, may be sentenced to 
have the right hand cut off, to be hanged in the usual 
manner, the head severed from the body, the body 
divided into four quarters, and the head and quarters 
set up in the most public place in the county, where 
such fact was committed."— Law of Maryland. 

We might extend such extracts from such laws, (if 
laws they can be called,) to the size of an octavo : — • 
laws that would disgrace the most savage people upon 
the face of the earth. In reference to them, the editor 
of the New York Tribune, of November 25, 1845, thus 
speaks : " Laws which allow one man to sell another 
man a thousand miles away from his wife, and their 
children five hundred miles apart in other directions, 
without right or hope of reunion — which allow men to 
beat, ravish, or even murder women of the degraded 


caste with impunity, in the presence of a dozen wit- 
nesses of their own color, if there are none of the 
ruling caste to testify against them — laws, which give 
to a white drunkard and gambler all the earnings of 
an ingenious and industrious black family for life, with 
privilege to flog them into the bargain — these laws are 
hateful to God, and pernicious to mankind. We can 
comprehend them as well in New York as in Kentucky ^ 
and they cannot be less than infernal anywhere." 

Note No. III. 

In a letter to Robert Morris, Washington also said, 
" There is only one proper and effectual mode by which 
the abolition of slavery can be accomplished, and that is 
by legislative authority ; and this, as far as my suffrage 
will go, shall never be wanting." 

In a speech in the House of Delegates of Maryland, 
Wm. Pinckney said, "By the eternal principles of 
natural justice, no master in this State has a right to 
hold his slave for a single hour." 

Dr. Rush, of Pennsylvania, declared slavery to be 
" repugnant to the principles of Christianity, and rebel- 
lion against the authority of a common Father." 

Note No. IY. 

In the same Convention, in reference to the provi- 
sions of the Constitution that Congress should have 
power to stop the domestic slave trade, called in that 
instrument " the migration of persons," Judge Dawes 
remarked, that " slavery had received its death wound, 
and would die of consumption," 


Note No. V. 

The whole number of representatives in the House 
is 223. Of these the Free states have 135, the Slave, 
88 ; and of these 88, but 68 are the representatives of 
freemen, the remaining 20 being representatives of slave 

The manner in which the present ratio of representa- 
tion was fixed, is one which should cover with lasting 
disgrace the Northern representatives who voted for it. 
The number fixed by the House, was one representative 
for every 50,189 inhabitants. This would have given 
them 306 members ; but the Senate, fearing the influence 
of so large a body of freemen as this would give, sent 
back the bill, with the ratio of 70,680, which would 
reduce the House to 223, and give the Free states a 
majority of 47, instead of 68. But why the odd num- 
ber, 680? It deprives four great States of the North, 
namely, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, 
of one member each. 

Even the correspondent of the New York Herald 
could thus write at the time : "The Senate apportion- 
ment has robbed the North of at least one quarter of its 
practical influence in the Union, when regarded in its 
full extent ; and the members of the Free states who 
voted for it, have thus surrendered the rights of their 
constituents, and violated their trusts." 

It is curious, also, to look at the fractions unrepre- 
sented. The Slave states have but 140,092; the Free, 
218,678. The fraction of Virginia is but 2! that of 
Pennsylvania, 27,687. 

In the Presidential contest of 1841, the Slave states 


had 1 1 4 electors ; the Free, 1 6 1 ; while the whole popular 
vote of the Slave states was but 693,434; the Free, 
1,71 0,04 1 . That is, while the Free states had but about 
two-fifths more in the number of electors, they had 
nearly three times as many popular votes. Pennsylvania 
had 26 electors, and a popular vote of 287,697; while 
Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia together, had 28 
electors, and but 159,525 popular vote: that is, with 
but little more than half the popular vote they had two 
more electors. 

Note No. VI. 

Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, 
and Florida. 

Note No. VII. 

It is well known that by far the greater Dumber 
of our foreign ministers have been from the Slave states, 
and that they have ever been most vigilant to promote 
the interests of those States, while the far more impor- 
tant interests of the Free states have been, compara- 
tively, neglected. In 1841, out of seven persons nomi- 
nated, in succession, for diplomatic stations, six were 
from the Slave states, which were all immediately con- 
firmed, while the nomination of the seventh, Edward 
Everett of Massachusetts, was laid on the table, till the 
slaveholders could satisfy themselves that he had no 
views adverse to their " peculiar institutions." 

What untold benefit would it have been to our Free 
states, if foreign nations had been induced, as they 
doubtless might have been, to favor our agricultural 
and manufacturing products, as they have been induced, 


by slaveholding ministers, to favour cotton, tobacco, 


Note No. VIII. 

No one man has so much influence over our " domestic 
legislation," as the Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives. He it is that appoints all the committees, which 
committees bring before the House such subjects, and 
present them in such aspects, as best suit their views. 
Since the organization of our government, in 1789, out 
of the $6 years the Slave states have had the Speaker 
3 8 years, the Free, 1 8 years. With the exception of 
John "V^. Taylor, of New York, who served three years, 
the Free states did not give a Speaker to the House from 
1809 to 1845. 

Note No. IX. 

Of the ten Presidents, since 1789, the Slave states 
have had six, who will have served at the end of the 
present term, 44 years ; the Free states four, who have 
served 16 years. In this, Gen. Harrison's whole term 
of four years is reckoned. What is also worthy of 
remark, is, that no Northern President has served more 
than one term. 

Next in importance to the President is the office of 
Secretary of State, as he manages all the business and 
correspondence with foreign courts, instructs our foreign 
ministers, and negotiates all treaties. Of the 1 5 who 
have filled this office, up to 1845, the Slave states have 
had 10, who have served 37 years; the Free states 5, 
who have served 1 9 years. 


Note No. X. 

In nothing is the gross injustice practised towards 
the Free states, more conspicuous than in the persons 
employed in those civil executive offices, at the city of 
Washington, and in those Diplomatic and Consular sta- 
tions abroad, where the compensation is by salary. In 
the following list we give the persons employed in a few 
of the States, with their salaries, and the number of free 
white inhabitants of the respective States. 

Persons. Salaries. Pree population. 

740,968 1 
2,378,890 J 

318,204 J 
1,676,115 j 

3°> 6 57 

59°> 2 53 1 
1,502,122 j 


( Virginia 
| New York 





( Maryland 
(^ Pennsylvania 





f District of Co. 

( Massachusetts 





J Kentucky 
I Ohio 






No. XL 


The Judiciary is the balance-wheel of our go- 
vernment. It takes cognizance of questions of the 
highest earthly moment — questions of constitutional 
law — questions of chartered rights and privileges — 
questions involving millions of property — and, above all, 
questions that decide the liberty and slavery of man. If 
there be any spot, therefore, that should be free from 
sectional bias, it is the Supreme Court of the United 
States, the judges of which should be appointed, not 
only for their high legal attainments and integrity^ 


but with reference to the number of inhabitants, and, 
consequently, to the legal interests of the different parts 
of the country. But how entirely opposite has been the 
practice. Of the 30 Judges of that Court, the Slave 
states have had 1 7 ; the Free states, 1 3 ; and that, too, 
while the free inhabitants of the Slave states are but 
about four and a half millions ; the inhabitants of the 
Free states nine and a half millions — more than double. 

Then look at the most unjust manner in which the 
circuits are divided. Vermont, Connecticut, and New 
York, with 42 representatives in Congress, and a free 
population of over three millions, constitute one circuit ; 
while Alabama and Louisiana, with but 1 1 representa- 
tives, and a free population of but half a million, consti- 
tute another circuit. New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 
with a population of two millions, constitute the third 
circuit. Mississippi and Arkansas, with a free popula- 
tion of but half a million, constitute the ninth circuit. 
We say free population, because the poor slave has 
nothing to do with courts of law, having no legal rights 
to maintain. 

Lastly, observe the same inequality and injustice, 
carried out in the salaries of the Judges. Louisiana, 
with a free population of 183,959, has one Judge at a 
salary of 3000 dollars; Ohio, with a population of 
1,519,464, more than eight times as great as that of 
Louisiana, has only one Judge, at a salary of 1 000 : that 
is, while he has more than eight times as many people to 
do business for, he receives but one-third as much pay. 
Arkansas, with a free population of 77*639, has one 
Judge at a salary of 2000 dollars ; New Hampshire, 
with a population of 284,573, has but one Judge, at a 


salary of iooo dollars. Mississippi, with a free popula- 
tion of 180,440, has one Judge, who receives 2500 
dollars; Indiana, with a population of 685,863, has but 
one Judge, who receives only 1 000 dollars ; receiving 
but two -fifths as much pay for doing more than three 
times the work. 

Note No. XII. 

The following is a portion of the Address of the 
Pennsylvania Convention, held in Philadelphia, Feb' 
22, 1844 :— 

" The great object of the Liberty party is, in the 
words of the Constitution, ' to establish justice ; to 


say, in the fervent language of that noble son of free- 
dom, Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, ' Let the whole 
North, in a mass, in conjunction with the patriotic of 
the South, withdraw the moral sanction and legal power 
of the Union from the sustainment of slavery.' We 
would employ every constitutional means to era- 
dicate it from our entire country, because it would be 
for the highest welfare of our entire country. We 
would have liberty established in the District, and in all 
the Territories. We would put a stop to the. in- 
ternal slave trade, pronounced, even by Thomas Jeffer- 
son Randolph, of Virginia, to be 4 worse and more 
odious than the foreign slave trade itself.' We would, 
in the words of the Constitution, have 4 the citizens 
of each State have all the privileges and immuni- 
ties of citizens in the several States ;' and not, for 


the color of their skin, be subjected to every indig- 
nity and abuse, and wrong, and even imprisonment.* 
We would have equal taxation. We would have the 
seas free. We would have a free and secure post-office. 
We would have liberty of speech and of the press, 
which the Constitution guarantees to us. We would 
have our members in Congress utter their thoughts 
freely, without threats from the pistol or the bowie- 
knife. We would have the right of petition most sacredly 
regarded. We would secure to every man what the 
Constitution secures, ' the right of trial by jury.' We 
would do what we can for the encouragement and im- 
provement of the colored race. We would look to the 
best interests of the country, and the whole country, and 
not legislate for the good of an Oligarchy, the most ar- 
rogant that ever lorded it over an insulted people. We 
would have our commercial treaties with foreign na- 
tions regard the interests of the Free states. We would 
provide safe, adequate, and permanent markets for the 
produce of free labor. And, when reproached with 
slavery, we would be able to say to the world, with an 
open front and a clear conscience, our General Govern- 
ment has nothing to do with it, either to promote, to 
sustain, to defend, to sanction, or to approve." 


The following is a brief history of the several reso- 
lutions which have passed the House of Represents- 

* Read the memorial of citizens of Boston, to the House of 
Representatives, on the imprisonment of free citizens of Mas- 
sachusetts by the authorities of Savannah, Charleston, and 

New Orleans. 


tives since 1836, against the consideration of any peti- 
tions respecting slavery. They are familiarly called 
" Gag Resolutions," and go by the name of the persons 
who introduced them. 

Pinckney's Gag was passed May 26, 1836, by a ma- 
jority of 46. Of the 117 yeas, 82 were from the Free 

Hawes's Gag, January 18, 1 837, by a majority of $8, 
Of the yeas, 70 were from the Free states. 

Patton's Gag, December 31, 1838, by a majority of 
48. Of the yeas, 52 were from the Free states. 

Atherton's Gag, January 12, 1839, by a majority of 
48. Of the yeas, 49 were from the Free states, and all 
or the Democratic Party. 

Johnson's Gag, Jan. 28, 1 840, by a majority of 6. Of 
the yeas, 28 were from the Free states, and all but one 
or the Democratic Party. But none of these "gags" 
would have been carried had it not been for Southern 
Whigs. Of the yeas for Johnson's Gag, 40 were Whigs 
from the Slave states. This, as well as every other 
important subject of legislation in Congress for the last 
thirty years, shows clearly, that with the South, all party 
distinctions give way at once, at the bidding of slavery. 
When Northern men shall be as united for liberty as 
Southern men have been for slavery, how soon will our 
country be free from its present reproach ! 

Note No. XIV. 

The Liberty party, at the Presidential election in 
1840, gave 6983 votes; at the election in 1844, ^ 
gave 62,324 votes. Its growth has been regular, and 
as rapid as could be expected. It resorts to no unwor- 


thy means to increase its numbers, and desires others to 
join its ranks, only as they are convinced of the truth 
and righteousness of its principles. 

Let it not, however, be despised for its yet compara- 
tively small numbers. The great philosophical historian, 
Milman, says, " It is erroneous to estimate strength and 
influence by numerical calculation. All political changes 
are wrought by a compact, organized, and disciplined 
minority." This is the secret of the success of the slave- 
holders. They have controlled the government for the 
past fifty years, because they have been a " compact, or- 
ganized, and disciplined minority." It is computed, on a 
careful estimate, that there are not more than 250,0:0 
slaveholders in the land, and that of these, deducting 
widows, minors, and others, there are not more than 
150,000 voters. When the Liberty party shall be "a 
compact, organized, and disciplined minority," of such a 
size, and shall control the counsels of the nation in 
favor of liberty, as the slaveholders now control them 
in favor of slavery, how soon will slavery die ! Eeader ! 
will you not resolve that you will be one to help in 
bringing about such a glorious result ? 

Note No. XV. 
To the question "what has the North to do with 
slavery ?" no answer more satisfactory, and none more 
eloquent, certainly, can be given, than the following 
extract from a letter from Cassius M. Clay, dated 
Lexington, Kentucky, October. 25th, 1845, to Messrs. 
C. D. Cleveland, J. Bouvier, W. Elder, and T. S. 
Cavender, a committee that forwarded to him a series 
of resolutions adopted at a meeting held in the State 


House, in Philadelphia, to sympathize with him in the 
brutal assault made upon his press, and the violence 
threatened to his person, by the mob of the 1 8th of 
August : — 

"The question has been again and again asked, in 
the most complacent simplicity, ' What has the free 
North to do with Slavery?' The Slave states added 
to the Union; the unconstitutional establishment of 
slavery in the district of Columbia ; its unlawful 
sufferance in the territories, the high seas, and places 
of national, exclusive jurisdiction, answer, the North is 
as guilty of this crime against man's supremacy and 
immortality as the South; more so, because she is 
derelict in her duty, with far less temptation. But as 
no offence goes unpunished, she is reaping the fruit of 
her sorry policy, by the unjust and disgraceful wars in 
which she has been compelled to engage — by taxes 
which have been imposed upon her — by the immense 
capital which has been swallowed up in Southern bank- 
ruptcy — by the hanging of citizens without trial by 
jury and without law — by the imprisonment of her 
seamen — by the expulsion of, and insult to, her ambas- 
sadors — by the denial of justice in courts of national 
justice — and, lastly, by the impudent seizure and for- 
cible abduction of her own freeborn citizens upon her 
own soil, and their incarceration in distant prisons. 
Shall any one be so base as any longer to ask, ' What 
has the North to do with Slavery ?' or, rather, shall 
not the cry henceforth for ever, until the end, be, 
' What shall the North do, to have nothing to do with 
Slavery ?' " 


Again, in the same letter, speaking of the threats 
uttered against himself, and the attack upon the free- 
dom of the press, he says :■ — 

"If this be an unnecessary infliction of the slave 
power, I call upon the nation to relieve me. If it be 
a necessary woe, following in the wake of American 
slavery, then, by all that is sacred among men, or holy 
in heaven, let Americans rise in the omnipotence of 
the ballot, and say, Slavery shall die ! " 

That is the true doctrine. Let all the citizens of 
the Free states, and all the non-slaveholders in the 

Note No. XVI. 

According to the Constitution, direct taxes must 
be apportioned among the several States in the 
ratio of their representation; and as the slave repre- 
sentatives would increase this number, it would also 
increase the amount of the tax in the same ratio. But 
mark how the slaveholders have escaped the conse- 
quence of this " compromise." The whole net revenue 
of our Government, from the 4th of March, 1 789, to 
January 1, 1845, has amounted to about 975 millions 
of dollars; of which but little more than 12 millions 
have been received in direct taxes ; and of this, the 
South has paid for her slave representation only 
1,256,553 dollars, or about one million and a quarter. 
But had the revenue of the Government, amounting to 


975 millions, been raised by direct taxation, the South 
would have had to pay, as her proportion, for her slave 
representation, over 105 millions; but instead of that 
she has paid but one million and a quarter. 

When, therefore, at the close of the last war, our 
country was in debt about 1 20 millions of dollars, the 
South resolved that this should not be paid by direct 
taxes, but by duties laid upon imported goods. 
Accordingly the Tariff of 1 8 16 was established. It 
was then emphatically a Southern measure. That 
Tariff, for instance, admitted the articles used for the 
clothing of slaves at a duty of Jive cents on the dollar's 
worth, and charged twenty cents on the dollar's worth of 
finer articles used for the clothing of free laborers, 
thereby making the honest labor of the Free states 
pay four dollars, while the slave labor of the Slave 
states paid but one, for clothing. 

The Free states, however, with their industry and 
skill, soon accommodated themselves to this state of 
things, and their manufactures, by degrees, rose to a 
height of great prosperity. But no sooner was our 
national debt paid, than the South, ever watchful of its 
purpose, resolved to strike a death-blow at the pros- 
perity of the Free states ; and, accordingly, the cele- 
brated u compromise" Tariff of 1832 was devised and 
carried; in which the "compromise" was, as it ever 
has been, all one way, Kothing is clearer than that the 
Slave power put on the Tariff in 1 8 1 6, and took it 
off in 1832. They have done just as they pleased. 
Reader, it is in your power to say, they shall do so no 



Note No. XVII. 

The aggregate amount of the appropriations for 
the navy, for three years previous to 1 846, was 
17,357,556 dollars, a considerable portion of which 
was spent for the home squadron, which consisted, in 
1843, of one frigate, three sloops of war, four brigs, 
one schooner, and one steamship. But why all this 
array of naval force on our own coast at a time of pro- 
found peace ? Let the late Judge Upshur, a Secretary 
of the Navy, and a Virginian, answer. In his first report 
to Congress, he speaks of " those incursions from which 
so much evil is to be apprehended." Again : " The 
effect of these incursions on the Southern portion of 
our country would be disastrous in the extreme." And 
again : " The Southern naval stations more especially, 
require a large force for their security. A large 
number of arms is kept in each of them, which, by a 
sudden irruption of a class of people who are not 
citizens, might be seized and used for very disastrous 
purposes." Here, men of the Free states, you have 
the whole of it. Here you see how we are taxed to 
provide a force to keep the slaves of the Southern states 
from insurrection. " What has the North to do with 
slavery ?" 

Again : look at the Post- Office Department. How 
enormous were the rates of postage for fifty years; and 
even now (1845) tne y are by no means so low as they 
should be. But why those high rates ? In order that 
the Free states, where there is so much more corre- 
spondence, might make up the loss the department 
sustained in the Slave states. In 1844, tne Free states 


were a gain to the department of more than half a 
million of dollars, while the Slave states were a loss to 
the department of more than half a million. The 
Liberty party will not cease in their efforts in this 
matter, till the postage here is the same as it is in 
England; two cents, prepaid by stamps, for all 


ounce. What comfort and joy would this bring to the 
door of every farmer, tradesman, mechanic, merchant, 
and professional man throughout the land ! 

Again : see how we were taxed to support the 
Florida war. That war, so disgraceful to our country, 
cost forty millions of dollars ; and it was undertaken, 
prosecuted, and finished, solely for the benefit of the 
slaveholder, that the slave, escaping from his tyranny, 
might not find protection in the wigwam of the red 
man. It was for this that the decree went forth, that 
the Indian must be driven from his native forests ; and 
the foul deed was done. " What has the North to do 
with slavery ?" 

Note No. XVIII. 
Of the 43 officers in the Navy Department in 
Washington, in 1 844, there were 31 from the Slave 
states, and but 1 2 from the Free states : and of all 
the officers in the Navy, whether in actual service or 
waiting orders, Pennsylvania, with a free population 
more than double that of Virginia, had but 177, while 
Virginia had 224. 

Note No. XIX. 
Never was this policy of the slaveholders more con- 
spicuous than in filling the vacancy on the bench of 


the Supreme Court, occasioned by the death of Judge 
Thompson, in December, 1843. Two or three most 
able and upright men were rejected by the Senate, 
because it was feared that they had sentiments adverse 
to slavery. And how tame, on all such occasions, have 
been the Senators from the Free states ! But such 
instances might be multiplied indefinitely. 

Note No. XX. 
See the letter of instructions written by Daniel 
Webster, as Secretary of State, to Edward Everett, our 
minister at London, respecting the slaves shipwrecked 
in the brig Creole ; a letter of such a character as to 
receive a deservedly severe review from an independent 
and able editor of the Secretary's own party — Charles 
King, of the New York American. 

Note No. XXI. 
In 1790, Virginia, with about 70,000 square miles 
of territory, contained a population of 748,308 ; New 
York, with about 45,000 square miles of territory, 
contained a population of 340,120, not one half. In 
1840, Virginia had 1,239,797; New York, 2,428,921, 
nearly double. In 1800, Kentucky had 220,955 in- 
habitants; Ohio, 45,365: in 1840, the former had 
increased to 779,828; the latter, to 1,519,467 inha- 
bitants. In Virginia there are 1 2 free inhabitants to 
a square mile; in New York, 52. 

Note No. XXII. 

According to the last census there are of scholars 
in free schools, in the Free states, 432,173; in the 
Slave states, 35,580. Ohio alone has 51,812 such 


scholars, more than are to be found in all the I 3 Slave; 

In 1837, Governor Campbell reported to the Virginia 
legislature, that from the return of 98 clerks, it appeared 
that of 4614 applications for marriage licenses, no less 
than 1047 were made by men unable to write! 
How admirably calculated to assume the responsibilities 
of the father ! 

Note No. XXIII. 

Shipping, value of, in the Free 

states .... dols. 6,31 1,805 

„ „ Slave states 704,291 
Manufactures, value in the 

Free states . * « 334,139,690 

5, „ Slave states 83,935,742 

. Note No. XXIV. 

" From long-continued and close observation, we 
believe that the moral and religious condition of the 
slaves is such, that they may justly be considered 
the heathen of this Christian country, and will bear 
comparison with heathen in any country in the world. 
The negroes are destitute of the Gospel, and ever will 
be under the present state of things." — Report published 
by the Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, December 

.3. l8 33- 

The Bev. C. C. Jones, in a sermon preached before 

two associations of planters in Georgia, thus writes : 

" Generally speaking they (the slaves) appear to us to be 

without God and without hope in the world ; a nation 

of heathens in our very midst/' 


In the loth Annual Report of the Sunday School 
Union, we see that there were that year in the Free 
states 5 04, 835 scholars ; and in the Slave states 82,532. 
The single state of New York had 161,768 about twice 
as many as all the Slave states together. 

Note No. XXV. 
The following table shows the force that each of 
the thirteen States supplied for the regular army from 
1775 to 1783 inclusive, and also, the sums allowed to 
the several States for expenses incurred during the 
Revolutionary War. 

States. Troops furnished. Money allowed. 

New Hampshire, dols. 12,497 dols. 4,278,015 

Massachusetts, 67,907 17,964,613 

Rhode Island, 5,908 3,782,974 

Connecticut, 3 1,939 9,285,737 

New York, 17,781 7,179,982 

New Jersey, 10,726 5,342,770 

Pennsylvania, 25,678 14,137,076 

Total of the present ) — 

seven Free states, 3 172,436 61,971,167 

Delaware, 2,386 839,319 

Maryland^ J 3,9 12 7,568, 145 

Virginia, 26,678 19,085,981 

North Carolina, 7,263 10,427,586 

South Carolina, 6,417 11,523,299 

Georgia, 2,679 2,993,800 

Total of the present 7 

six Slave states. f 59>335 5 2 >438,i3o 

Besides this, it might be added, that of the 45 officers 


of the revolutionary army, the seven Northern States 
furnished 30, the six Southern States 15. 

By this table it will be seen, that while the Northern 
States furnished about three times the number of troops 
furnished by the Southern States, they received not 
one-fifth more money. North Carolina, South Carolina, 
and Georgia, furnished but 16,359 troops, and received 
about 25 millions of dollars; New York furnished 
17,781 troops, and received but 7 millions. Virginia 
received over a million of dollars more than Massachu- 
setts, while she furnished but a little more than one- 
third the number of soldiers. 

Note No. XXVI. 
The following extract from a speech of the Mayor 
of New Orleans indicates what power is felt to lie in 
the ballot-box. " So long as the people at the North 
contented themselves with the name of Abolitionists, we 
of the South had nothing to fear, but now that they 
carry the subject to the ballot-box, we have reason to 
tremble for the safety of our institutions." 

Note No. XXVII. 
Another instance of gross injustice that occurs to 
us, is the Distribution of the Surplus Revenue, by the 
Act of 1 836. The sum to be distributed was 37,468,859 
dollars ; and the act declared that it should be divided 
in proportion to the representation of the several States 
in Congress. Of this, the South, with a free population 
of 3,789,674, received 16,058,082 dollars ; while the 
North, with a free population of 7,003,229, received 
but 21,410,777 dollars. So that for each inhabitant of 


the free North there was but 3.05 dollars, while for each 
free person of the South there was received 4.23 dollars; 
or 1 . 1 8 dollars more for each free person in the South, 
than for each free person in the North. Consequently, 
the South, by this operation alone, received for her slave 
representation in Congress more than four millions of. 


But what makes the injustice of this distribution still 
more flagrant, is the fact, that the surplus revenue was 
mostly accumulated by .Northern industry and enter- 
prise ; first, from the duties on imported merchandise, of 
which the North pays three dollars to one paid by 
the South ; and second, from the sales of the public 
lands, which are mostly bought by settlers from the 
Free states. So that, in short, while the Free states 
were mainly instrumental in accumulating the surplus 
revenue, in its distribution the Slave states received 
more than their just share by over four millions of 
dollars ! Who will now ask, " What has the North to 
do with slavery ?" 

Note No. XXVIIL 

The following is the concluding paragraph of the 
Address of the great Liberty Convention of the Friends 
of Freedom in the Eastern and Middle States, held in 
Boston, October 1, 2, and 3, 1 845. 

" And, now, men of the free North ! — Citizens of the 
Eastern and Middle States ! — by every consideration of 
religion, humanity and patriotism, you are urged to the 
exertion of all your powers for the overthrow of slavery. 
Your homes and your altars, your honor and good 
name, are at stake., The slave in his prison stretches his 


manacled hands towards you, imploring your aid. A 
cloud of witnesses surrounds you. The oppressed mil- 
lions of Europe beseech you to remove from their path- 
way to freedom the reproach and stumbling-block of 
Democratic slavery. From the damp depths of dungeons 
— from the stake and the scaffold, where the martyrs of 
liberty have sealed their testimony with their blood— 
solemn and awful voices call upon you to make the dead 
letter of your republicanism a living truth. Join with us, 
then, fellow citizens. Slavery is mighty : but it can be 
overthrown. In the name of God and humanity, let us 
bring the mighty ballot-box of a kingless people to bear 
upon it. The model man of our Republic, who might 
have been a king, but would not, calls from his grave 
upon each of us to do that, which he solemnly declared 
himself ready to do — to give his vote to free the slave 
and to abolish the wicked phantasy of property in man. 
He shall not call in vain. We acknowledge the duty of 
consecrating our votes to the deliverance of the oppressed, 
and joyfully do we perform it.' 5 







O the foregoing Addresses I append the following 
" Letter to the Managers of the Philadelphia 
Bible Society," for the following chief reasons. 
First, because the Philadelphia Address 
has always, in my mind, been intimately associated with the 
Letter, bearing to it, as it does, the relation of cause and 

Second, because it contains a quotation from a letter of the 
author of the Cincinnati Address, showing his noble senti- 
ments upon the duty of giving the Bible to the slave, at a 
time when public opinion upon the subject was such, that 
even the American Bible Society would not receive a separate 
fund for the purpose of supplying our slave population with 
the Scriptures. 

Third, because, as my letter was not put upon the minutes 
of the Society, probably on account of its length, it may at 
some future time be asked why I presented my resignation 
as their President, and why it was accepted. This letter and 
the action of the Society upon it give the answer. 

Fourth, because, at that time, no other paper to which I 
applied would give my letter a place in its columns, but the 
" American Anti-Slavery Keporter $ 5 ' and hence, though it 
was copied into the i6 British and Foreign Anti- Slavery Re- 
porter," but few in our country ever saw it. I feel, therefore, 

* The " Address " 'appeared in the latter part of April 3 
the " Letter '' was sent on the third of June, 


that justice to myself demands that it be put in a form more 
permanent as well as more accessible. 

Fifth, because the action of the Bible Society upon my resig- 
nation is a fair exponent of the position of the Christian Church 
at that time upon the subject of Slavery. The managers re- 
presented the most prominent denominations of Christians 
in our city, and not only had the full confidence of their re- 
spective churches, but stood high in the estimation of the com- 
munity at large. When they, therefore, felt it to be their 
duty virtually to eject their President from his office on account 
of his anti-slavery views so publicly expressed, it is conclusive 
evidence what was the prevailing sentiment of Christians on 
the subject in 1844 5 and it seems to me that this their action 
should have a record in the page of history. 

I would only add that, though I feel, of course, unspeakable 
joy that the spirit of liberty is now so triumphant in our land, 
and that the principles once so generally odious are now the 
settled convictions of the best and largest portion of the nation, 
I reprint this letter in no unkind or retaliatory spirit towards 
those to whom it is addressed. I felt, indeed, at the time, 
deeply grieved at the course taken by the managers of the 
Society, but I never either impugned their motives or harbored 
the least feelings of resentment towards them, believing that 
they verily thought they ought thus to act in order to advance 
the best good of the Society whose highest interests and use- 
fulness it was their duty to promote and extend. But whether 
their action then was right or wrong, and whether or not the 
end justified the means, I am now more than willing to leave 
to the calm judgment of an enlightened Christian public, 
at this, or at any future time. 

C. D. C. 
. May, 1867. 




Christian Brethren, 


^rd June, 1844= 

HEREWITH tender to you my resig- 
nation as President of the Philadelphia 
Bible Society. To that post of honor 
and responsibility, in one of the great de- 
partments of Christian benevolence, I was elected in 
November, 1839. ^ nat tne Society did for the years 
previous, and what it has done since ; what changes, 
beneficial or otherwise, have been introduced ; how 
many or how few plans have been devised and executed, 
for engaging the earnest co-operation of Christians of 
all denominations throughout the sphere of our labors; 
how much or how little agency I may have had in what 
has been done ; how much or how little I may have 
labored in the many ways in which such a cause calls 
for continuous and efficient action ; — of all these things 
I have, of course, nothing to say. The record of a part, 


though but a part, is before you. It has become history, 
and history it will remain. 

And here, wishing you, as a Society, all wisdom in the 
choice of my successor ; still greater success in all your 
future plans of benevolence ; and for each of you indi- 
vidually the richest of all blessings — here I might close. 
But that plainness and Christian candour which, I trust, 
will ever characterize me through life, and which, at 
such a time, are due alike to you and to myself, demand 
that I should say something more. 

Ever since you elected me to be your President, it has 
been my fixed purpose that I would continue such no 
longer, certainly, than it appeared I held the office by 
the unanimous wish of the board. If there be any place 
where entire confidence, entire harmony, entire love should 
prevail, it is where Christians meet together to devise 
plans for the circulation of that Word, the very essence 
of which is love and good-will to man. Not that all the 
Board should have precisely the same views in morals, 
religion, or politics. To require that, or to expect that, 
would be as absurd as to require or to expect that all 
should look alike, or be of the same stature. While each 
claims for himself the right to hold his own opinions 
upon all subjects without being amenable to the Board, 
each should have the justice and magnanimity, as well as 
Christian charity, to allow the same to all other members, 
never dreaming that diversities of opinion in individuals 
conflict with their duties as managers, or commit the 
Board in the slightest degree to their own peculiar views. 
But it seems that the time has arrived when there is to 
be an exception to this clear rule of action. 

On the f 7th of last month, when calling on one of the 


vice-presidents, to consult with him, as one of the commit- 
tee, in relation to our anniversaiy, he said that he felt it to 
be his duty, as my friend, to say that a number of members 
of the Board had within a few days expressed opinions 
adverse to my being re-elected the President of the 
Society ; and that there would doubtless be many votes 
given against me at the next election, or words to that 
effect. The ground of the opposition, he said, was the 
charge of my being the author of " The Address of the 
Liberty Party of Pennsylvania to the People of the 
State." To that charge, with however much of odium it 
may be attended in this community, I would here plead 
guilty. But how it was that my being the author of that 
" Address " conflicted with my duties as your President 
did not, I confess, so readily appear. The thought im- 
mediately occurred to me that the most prominent mem- 
ber of the Pennsylvania Bible Society is, and has been 
for many years, a slaveholder. I say it not in the least 
spirit of unkindness to that gentleman, but merely state 
it as a fact, with which I know many of you are familiar. 
Yet I never heard it whispered even, that such a relation 
constituted any objection to his being, year after year, 
elected to the responsible office of corresponding sec- 

How, then, my being the author of an Address to the 
people of Pennsylvania advocating the eternal principles 
of truth and justice — an Address, every moral sentiment 
of which is, I believe, in accordance with the truths of 
that Bible which we have been laboring to spread — an 
Address which calls upon all good men to exert their 
influence to elect such rulers as have the fear of God 
before their eyes — an Address which holds up one man, 



the idol of a great party, in the light in which every moral 
man, not to say Christian, should view him — an Address 
which speaks of slavery as Christian men, in growing 
numbers, all over the world are speaking of it, whose 
moral vision is not obscured by the thousand selfish in- 
terests that ensnare the soul and lead captive the under- 
standing — how, I say, my being the author of such an 
Address disqualified me from being the President of a 
Bible society did not, I confess, appear so plain to me. 

It is enough for me, however, to have been assured 
that a considerable portion of the Board seem to think 
so ; and therefore, agreeably to the resolution always 
formed in my own mind, to preside over you no longer 
than it seemed to be desired by a wish unanimous or 
approximating to unanimity, I deem it best to retire 
from your body, that you may select some one to fill 
my place in whom you can all harmoniously unite. 

Allow me, however, to say that there are some ques- 
tions connected with this subject, entirely independent 
of myself, which it may be well for the Board to ask and 
seriously to ponder. Are they prepared, as a body, be- 
fore the world, to take what will seem to be pro-slavery 
ground, in deeming one unfit any longer to preside over 
them from his anti-slavery views ? Are they prepared 
in this day of increasing Christian light, and in the face 
of the Christian public, to do anything that would seem, 
in the slightest degree, to countenance or strengthen a 
corrupt sentiment on the subject of slavery ? What, 
then, I ask, will be thought of the offering up, as a 
peace-offering, a brother as a sacrifice upon the altar of 
its Moloch ? I ask not what a Christian public, merely, 
may think of such things ; but I ask what will high- 


minded men think ? Will it not seem to them some- 
thing like persecution for opinion's sake ? and will it 
meet their sense of right action, to have anyone, though 
they might not agree with him in sentiment, removed 
from a responsible station, for writing what he has 
written under a deep sense of duty and responsibility. 

Such are a few questions which the Board may here 
ask. Others of a similar character will doubtless pre- 
sent themselves. 

Let it be here borne in mind, brethren, that I have 
never asked you to espouse the opposite side ; that I have 
never asked you to take anti-slavery ground, except by 
doing all you could to circulate the best of all anti- 
slavery books —the Bible. You will bear me witness 
that, notwithstanding my well-known views on the 
subject of Slavery, I have never introduced them into 
the Board. Not that I was prevented by any considera- 
tions of unpopularity. Were I governed by such 
low motives, I never, in Philadelphia certainly, should 
have written that Address — no, nor ever have divulged 
the sentiments I hold. But having thought often and 
deeply upon the course which it was duty for me to 
take, I never could see what good could be done by 
bringing the subject of Slavery before our Board, limited 
as our sphere of operations is to the city and districts, 
I have lamented, indeed, and deeply lamented, that the 
American Bible Society, in its annual report, when 
giving its estimate of the destitution of our country, has 
never mentioned the poor down-trodden slave. I have 
thought the course pursued by that society as yielding 
to the prevailing corrupt sentiment of the day, certainly 
not in keeping with the spirit of the Gospel. 


And here I am glad to be able to present to you some 
high confirmation of my views. My early and honored 
friend, S. P. Chase, Esq,, of Cincinnati, for many years 
the efficient president of the Young Men's Bible Society 
of that city, one of the most prominent members of the 
Liberty party in Ohio, and who needs no eulogy of 
mine to his moral and intellectual worth, in a letter 
dated May 28th, 1843, thus writes :— 

" Our Young Men's Bible Society and yours, are 
" two most important auxiliaries. Can we not do 
" something to arouse the American Bible Society 
a from its apathy in regard to the destitution of 
" the Slaves ? When they propose to put a Bible 
" in every family, and omit all reference to the 
" Slaves ; and when, giving an account of the 
" destitution of the land, they make no mention 
" of two and a half millions of people perishing 
"in our midst, without the Scriptures, can 
" we help feeling that something is dreadfully 
" wrong ? " 

This, brethren, is a most solemn question. It is a 
question which I verily believe the Board of the 
American Bible Society, so far as they may have 
yielded, directly or indirectly, openly or silently, to a 
corrupt public sentiment on this subject, will have to 
answer at the bar of Him who has declared, that " if 
ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin ;" and that 
" inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, 
ye did it not to me." The spirit of Christianity is a 
spirit of universal love and philanthropy. She looks 
down with pity, and, if she could, she would look with 


scorn upon all the petty distinctions that exist among men. 
She casts her benignant eye abroad over the earth, and, 
wherever she sees man, she sees him as man, as a being 
made in the image of God, whether an Indian, an African, 
or a Caucasian sun may shine upon him. She stoops from 
heaven to raise the fallen, to bind up the broken- 
hearted, to release the oppressed, to give liberty to the 
captive, and to break the fetters of those that are 
bound. She is marching onward with accelerated step, 
and, wherever she leaves the true impress of her 
heavenly influence, the moral wilderness is changed 
into the garden of the Lord. May it never be ours to 
do what may seem to be even the slightest obstacle to 
her universal sway. 

Such, brethren, are a few of the many interesting 
thoughts that crowd upon me on this occasion. But I 
have already written more than I intended, and I 
cannot enlarge. In bringing this communication to a 
close, allow me to express to you individually, and as 
a Board, my most sincere Christian attachment. What- 
ever course any members may have taken in relation 
to this matter, I must believe that they have acted 
from what has seemed to them a sense of duty. Far 
be it from me to impeach their motives. Time, the 
great test of truth, may show them their course in a 
very different light from that in which they now view 
it. I may, as a Christian, lament that their views of 
duty are not more in unison with my own. I may, as 
a man, feel heart-sickened at the diseased, the deplorably 
diseased state of the public mind, in relation to two 
and a half millions of my fellow-men in bondage. I 
may, as a citizen of a Free state, blush at the humiliat- 


ing fact, that not only the tyranny, but the ubiquity of 
the slave power is everywhere so manifest ; that it has 
insinuated itself into our free domain to such a degree, 
that there seems to be as much mental Slavery in the 
Free states, as there is personal in the Slave states. I 
may feel all this, but I must not impeach the motives 
by which others have been governed. 

And now iet me, in conclusion, leave those points in 
which some of us may differ, and look only to those in 
which we have all agreed. Let me recur to pleasing 
recollections. Let me look back to the past five years, 
during which time we have all moved on so harmoniously 
together in our labors to furnish the destitute with the 
volume of Divine truth. I can truly say that our 
action together has ever been to me one continued 
source of pleasure. If there have been differences of 
opinion (and these have been very few and very slight) 
they have been settled as Christians always should set- 
tle them, in the kindest and most confiding manner. I 
thank you for all your kindness to me. I thank you for 
your confidence so early shown and so long continued. I 
thank you for the cordial support you have ever given 
to the various measures proposed to increase the resources 
and to extend the usefulness of our Society. And let 
me assure you, that of all the pleasing reminiscences 
of my life none will ever be to me sources of more 
grateful meditation, than those connected with the five 
years in which we have moved on, hand in hand, so har- 
moniously together. If, during those years, in our labors 
to carry the Gospel to the destitute, we have been the 
humble instruments of bringing even one sinner to turn 
from the error of his ways ; of giving even to one those 


consolations which the Bible alone can give, we may 
feel, indeed, most richly rewarded for any amount of 
time or of labor we may have devoted to the work. 

Again, wishing you from my heart, individually, and 
as a Board, the richest of Heaven's blessings, 

I remain, very sincerely, 
Your friend and brother, 

Charles Dexter, Cleveland. 

As soon as the Secretary, Mr. John Sparhawk, had read 
the foregoing letter, he offered a resolution that my resigna- 
tion be not accepted. A long debate thereon ensued, but the 
resolution was lost by the decisive vote of seven to fourteen. 
A counter resolution was then offered that my resignation be 
accepted "with regret," which was carried, fourteen to seven. 
Theodore Cuyler, Esq. then offered the following, which was 
carried unanimously, the whole number of managers present 
—twenty -one — voting aye. 

" Resolved, — That this Board are mainly indebted to 
" Professor C. D. Cleveland for the prominent and in- 
" fluential position it has attained in the regards of this 
" Christian community, and that they bear an earnest 
" testimony to the sound judgment and unwearied zeal 
" which have ever characterized the discharge of his 
" duties in his responsible office." 

THE end. 


a ILfet of Boofas 




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